TWS comments on American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas

By Cassie Ferri

The Atlas is intended to be an accessible, updated and comprehensive tool used to measure the progress of conservation, stewardship and restoration efforts across the United States. Credit: Matt Poole/USFWS

The Wildlife Society recommended the U.S. Department of the Interior use the best available science and collaborate with diverse stakeholders as it continues creating the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a measure of federal conservation progress.

The American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas is intended to be an accessible and comprehensive tool for tracking federal conservation, stewardship and restoration efforts throughout the next decade. In its creation of the Atlas, the DOI seeks to unite conservation efforts across the country and support the current administration’s America the Beautiful initiative to conserve 30% of public lands and waters by 2030.

“The American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas will integrate knowledge from diverse stakeholders and existing databases across the United States to generate an accessible and updated conservation tool,” said Caroline Murphy, AWB®, government relations manager at The Wildlife Society. “Through the Atlas, we hope to have a more complete picture of the current state of American conservation to guide future management efforts.”

On Jan. 4, the U.S. Department of the Interior requested input from the public, states, tribal nations, scientists and other stakeholders on its development of the Atlas. The agency specifically asked for feedback regarding how best to measure and reflect meaningful conservation work throughout the United States.

The Wildlife Society, with input from several organizational units, submitted feedback, promoting the use of the best available science and collaboration between diverse stakeholders to guide the conservation of America’s wildlife, lands and waters. The Wildlife Society recommended building on previously existing regional, national and international datasets; assessing biodiversity and invasive species as a metric for determining an area’s conservation value; ensuring equitable access to nature; initiating sincere engagement with tribal communities; sustaining multi-stakeholder partnerships; and investing in natural resource professionals.

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