It’s been a busy year for the Conservation Affairs Network, with TWS organizational units engaging in several issues, spanning from establishing feral cat task forces, lead ammunition workshops, Mexican wolf management, and funding for wildlife conservation and management.
At the TWS 23rd Annual Conference this week in Raleigh, Keith Norris, AWB®, TWS Director of Government Affairs and Partnerships, led a discussion among TWS chapter and section leaders on Network activities at the Wednesday morning Conservation Affairs Network Meeting. Section and chapter leaders discussed various policy issues that are currently impacting wildlife professionals in their regions and opportunities to collaborate.
“The Wildlife Society’s Conservation Affairs Network has been instrumental in increasing the Society’s effectiveness in the policy arena, ensuring that policies incorporate scientific information and empower wildlife professionals,” said Norris. “As we continue to strengthen the connections between TWS staff, sections, chapters, and working groups, we will see increasing benefit for our members and science-based wildlife conservation.”
Mark Humpert, Director of Conservation Initiatives for the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, presented information about legislative efforts to generate $1.3 billion in wildlife conservation funding for state fish and wildlife agencies. This legislation is a result of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources recommendations. TWS sections and chapters will be instrumental in helping coordinate regional and local support for this legislation during 2017.
The Network operates through Conservation Affairs Committees established within TWS sections and chapters. These committees are charged with identifying and addressing policy issues within their region and communicating their activities through the Network to support similar activities among other organizational units of TWS. It was launched in 2014 to give all wildlife professionals an effective method for bringing their valuable and crucial perspectives into the policy process, to the betterment of wildlife conservation.
|Keith Norris, MA, MS, AWB®, is director of Government Affairs and Partnerships for The Wildlife Society.