Wildlife for the 21st Century (Volume IV)
This is the fourth in a series of recommendations from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) to Presidents Bush and Obama since 2001. AWCP is a consortium of 49 organizations that represents the interests of America’s 20 million hunters, their families, and the economies of many rural communities.
We began issuing these recommendations at the turn of the 21st century to apply to today’s issues the fundamental ideas on which the American conservation movement began over the prior 100+ years: the ideas of public access to wildlife, personal responsibility, and active scientific management.
The legacy of personal commitments by conservationists fills this heritage with valuable achievements in restoring and sustaining wildlife, discovering and teaching its science, and mentoring generations of hunters, trappers, and target shooters in safe and ethical recreation.
The continuity of accomplishment under these principles runs from the first hunting clubs proposing game laws in the mid-1800s, to the creation of Federal agencies and public lands at the turn of the last century, and to passage of a self-imposed tax on arms and ammunition that has funded massive restoration of deer, elk, and other wildlife. That program is now called Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration and reached its 75th anniversary in 2012. We are now equipped to add to the legacy through the work of state, Federal, and tribal wildlife agencies, the largest caucus in the Congress (the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus), a Federal Advisory Committee with a unified 10-year agenda (the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council), and our network of private groups in AWCP.
It is from this perspective of history, service in government and private enterprise, and basis in principle that we submit the following recommendations. These recommendations represent a general agreement of the partners.
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