TWS updates positions statements on climate change and grazing

By Madison Chudzik

Cattle graze on rangeland in Montana. Credit: USDA

The Wildlife Society’s governing Council has recently released updated position statements on two issues of importance to wildlife professionals. The updated position statements on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Wildlife as well as Rangeland Livestock Grazing were recently added to the TWS website.

The Wildlife Society’s position statements are broad and topical messages on important wildlife issues that are part of TWS’ suite of policy engagement resources. The statements define the issue, contain factual background data, describe the most probable, biological and social-economic results of alternative actions, and may also contain a recommended course of action.

The TWS Council’s Position Statements Committee reviews each position no less than every 10 years to ensure continued relevance to the wildlife profession.

Climate Change, Sustainability, and Wildlife

The scientific evidence for human-caused climate change is vast. Greenhouse gas emissions are the primary driver of rapid global warming. Failure to curb the human-caused drivers of climate change will accelerate the cascade of effects on natural systems supporting life on Earth, including wildlife and humans, and be both unpredictable and irreversible. Urgent and substantive actions involving global, regional, local and individual efforts that limit the extent and rate of change, mitigate its effects, and adapt to the altered climate reality will all contribute to the sustainability of wildlife and human communities.

Read the full updated position statement on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Wildlife.

Rangeland Livestock Grazing

Most rangelands host some form of grazing by domestic livestock. Ecological processes drive changes in rangelands through interactions of herbivory, fire, climate and annual variations in weather, while rangeland management occurs primarily through types and rates of domestic livestock grazing and manipulation of vegetation by various mechanical or chemical means and fire. Rangelands are common worldwide, with some estimating that rangelands comprise about half the Earth’s land surface. About 20-30% of the land surface in the United States and the Canadian prairies is rangeland with the majority located in the western states and provinces. More than a million acres of native rangeland in North America are lost annually to cropland conversion or residential and industrial development or are severely degraded by overgrazing, invasive plant species, woodland encroachment, and, in some instances, wildfire and inappropriate use of prescribed fire.

Read the full updated position statement on Rangeland Livestock Grazing.


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