Policy Briefs

Peninsular Pronghorn, Ryan Hagerty USFWS

Image Credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

The Wildlife Society’s Policy Brief Series provides specific information on U.S. and Canadian federal policies and programs that impact wildlife management and conservation. Each Policy Brief provides a quick synopsis of the motivation, methodology, and results of the policy or program and how it impacts wildlife professionals and their work of conservation.

Policy Briefs are a resource for wildlife professionals interested in understanding more about a specific policy or educating decision-makers of the importance of these policies and programs.

Download each Policy Brief below by clicking on the title.

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act criminalizes the the take of the two species. Learn how this act has helped the Bald Eagle population rebound.

Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a federal program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

The Farm Bill: Conservation (Title II) Programs
Title II of the Farm Bill authorizes it’s agricultural and working lands conservation programs. These conservation programs help build public-private partnerships by providing technical assistance and cost-sharing options for landowners wishing to voluntarily improve habitats for fish and wildlife, reduce erosion, and/or address other natural resource concerns on their land.

Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act
The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly known at the Pittman-Robertson Act, directs several million dollars to state wildlife agencies each year. Learn how this act operates and what it has contributed to wildlife conservation and wildlife professionals since being enacted in 1937.

Lacey Act
The Lacey Act is the oldest national wildlife protection law in the U.S. Learn how this act regulates the sale of any species protected by international or domestic law and prevents the spread of invasive species.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the primary source of money used by federal, state, and local governments to acquire lands for conservation and public access to natural areas. Learn how this program has been used to conserve over 7 million acres across the U.S.

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act
The Duck Stamp Act, as it is more commonly known, requires hunters to purchase a stamp each year in order to legally hunt migratory birds. Learn how the revenue from this program benefits wildlife and wetland habitats.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act 
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) allows the United States to give effect to promises made in international treaties for the protection of migratory birds by serving as an authorizing device for implementing and amending regulations in the U.S. deemed necessary to protect migratory birds covered by the treaties.

National Environmental Policy Act
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) establishes a procedural framework that obligates all federal agencies to consider environmental impacts prior to taking any “major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act
The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act establishes a grant program that directs funds to population and habitat conservation for neotropical migrants throughout the western hemisphere. Learn how this program has helped wildlife professionals in their conservation efforts.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) funds projects that protect, restore, and enhance wetlands in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Learn how the appropriations from this act conserve wetlands.

Species At Risk Act
The Species At Risk Act is the Canadian federal program aimed at preventing wildlife species from becoming extinct and aiding in the recovery of at risk species.

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants
State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program is the only federal program with the explicit goal of preventing endangered species listing by supporting state wildlife agencies. Learn how these crucial funds support State Wildlife Action Plans and help conserve over 12,000 public trust wildlife species.

United States Congressional Appropriations Process
Discretionary spending, which funds most government operations – including federal agency budgets – is set on an annual basis through 12 appropriations bills, in what’s often referred to as the congressional appropriations process.

Wilderness Act
The Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System to designate and preserve pristine undeveloped lands in the U.S. Learn how wilderness areas benefit wildlife professionals.