The Policy Toolkit provides TWS members, and in particular those engaged within the Conservation Affairs Network, with guidance and knowledge regarding policy advocacy. With this understanding, TWS members will be better able to engage in the policy arena and do their part to advance the mission of TWS.

You do not have to be an experienced advocate to be effective. This toolkit will provide you with a basic knowledge of the policy process and advocacy techniques to ensure you are ready to effectively engage and make the voice of wildlife professionals heard.

For questions or comments regarding the policy toolkit, contact:
Keith Norris, AWB®
Director of Wildlife Policy and Communications
(301) 897-9770 ext 309

View and download the Policy Toolkit
1.3 MB


Section 1: Conservation Affairs Network Framework
The Conservation Affairs Network engages and unifies the efforts of The Wildlife Society, its 200+ units, and nearly 10,000 members to advance wildlife conservation policy issues at the national, regional, and local levels. Learn more about the Network and ways you and your TWS subunit can get involved.

1.1 Conservation Affairs Network Overview
1.2 Coordination Among CACs
*1.3 How to Involve Your Members in the CAC

Section 2: Engage in Policy
Policy-makers need to hear from the experts – and when it comes to managing wildlife, that is you. This section outlines the basic information you need to know about engaging in policy and how to be successful.

2.1 You are the Expert as a Wildlife Professional
2.2 Rules for Success
2.3 Scope of Involvement for TWS
2.4 Steps for Involvement
2.5 Lobbying for Nonprofits
*2.6 Conflict of Interest Considerations
*2.7 The Role of Science in Decision-Making

Section 3: Take Action on Policy
There are many ways to take action on policy or legislation development, but it all starts with a clear, consistent, and concise message crafted for the right audience. Section 3 gives you guidelines on how to use your knowledge and experiences to have maximum influence.

3.1 Crafting Your Message
3.2 Meeting with Decision-Makers
3.3 Writing a Letter
*3.4 Giving Testimony
*3.5 Telephone Calls
*3.6 Submitting Comments on Proposed Agency Rules

Section 4: Policy Action Support
TWS and TWS subunits have a responsibility as scientific societies for professional wildlife managers and conservationists to address issues that affect the current and future status of wildlife. Section 4 provides guidance on how to develop authoritative documents and leveraging partnerships that will help you be successful.

4.1 Position Statements
4.2 Fact Sheets
*4.3 Developing Partnerships

Section 5: Policy Process & Where to Engage
You do not need an in-depth understanding of legal concepts and jargon, but understanding basic processes is needed to become an effective advocate. Section 5 will provide you with a basic overview of the policy processes and legal frameworks and highlight steps where you can get involved, enabling you to be an effective advocate for wildlife conservation and the wildlife profession.

5.1 The State & Federal Legislative Process and How You Can Become Involved
5.2 U.S. Federal Budgeting Process
5.3 U.S. and Canadian Federal Land Management and Natural Resource Conservation Agencies
*5.4 The Canadian Legislative Process and How You Can Become Involved
*5.5 Canadian Federal Budgeting Process
*5.6 Agency Rulemaking Process

Appendix: Glossary of Legislative Terms
Appendix: Sample Letter and Comment Submission
Appendix: U.S. and Canadian Federal Policy Publications
Appendix: U.S. State and Canadian Provincial Legislative Websites

*Indicates Sections that will be included in future editions of this toolkit