TWS CEO appointed to Federal Advisory Council

By Madison Chudzik

Elk feeding in Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge located in Arnett's home state of Colorado.
Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS

The Wildlife Society’s CEO, Ed Arnett, has been appointed an alternate member of the federal Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council (HWCC). United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack announced the appointment last Friday of the 18-member council and its alternates.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this council and speak to the needs of America’s wildlife and wildlife professionals,” Arnett said. “The challenges facing wildlife and their habitat have only become more complicated and costly in recent years. The council will be critically important in identifying solutions and shaping the next generation of conservation initiatives.”

The Federal Advisory Council, chartered in February 2022, will provide recommendations to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture on policies that aid in the conservation of wildlife and their habitat, while enhancing fair-chase hunting and recreational shooting sports opportunities on federal lands. It continues the work of the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council established in 2018, on which TWS’ past president, Winifred Kessler, served.  A primary goal of the HWCC will be to assist in the advancement of the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, which aims to connect more people to public lands and increase conservation efforts to restore wildlife and national lands.

Council members represent a wide variety of stakeholders, such as the National Association of Conservation Districts, Hunters of Color and the Mule Deer Foundation, along with tribal and state resource management agencies. Arnett will be the alternate to primary member Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, one of several wildlife and habitat conservation management organizations represented serving on the council. The Wildlife Society and National Wildlife Federation’s histories are closely linked, with both forming after the first North American Wildlife Conference in 1936.

The U.S Departments of Agriculture and the Interior named TWS CEO Ed Arnett as an alternate member of the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council. Courtesy Ed Arnett

Prior to joining The Wildlife Society, Arnett worked for over 30 years in the wildlife profession for federal agencies, nonprofits and universities as a field biologist and research scientist. He served on a prior Federal Advisory Committee that advised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on wind energy and wildlife guidelines. Arnett currently serves on the Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Committee for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the National Cooperators Coalition, an advisory group that supports the U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit program to meet the research and education challenges of the future. In addition to his role at TWS, Arnett is an adjunct professor at Colorado State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and hosts the public television series “This American Land.”

Appointed members will serve on the council for a three-year term and meet at least twice per year.

More information about the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council and its purpose are available through the council’s website


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