Council on hunting and wildlife conservation reinstated

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will reinstate the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council. Credit: Shelley C. Koerner/USFWS

The Biden administration has announced that it is creating the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council, a Federal Advisory Committee that will provide recommendations to the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture regarding wildlife and habitat conservation and preserving the nation’s hunting heritage.

The new council will build off the work of the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council, established during the Obama administration in 2010 and disbanded in 2018, as well as the Sporting Conservation Council, launched in 2006 during the George W. Bush administration.

As during its previous iterations, council membership will consist of subject matter experts from state fish and wildlife management agencies, hunting organizations, tribal resources management organizations, and conservation organizations, as well as other key stakeholders. Details about council membership have not been released, but a previous version of the council was made up of 18 subject matter experts selected by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture and seven ex-officio members representing federal agencies—USFWS, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency—and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Winifred Kessler, who was then past president of The Wildlife Society, served on the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council from 2012-2018.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will manage the administration of the council, which will provide guidance and advice to the agency and to the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture as they develop policies related to wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing. Previous councils have provided advice on issues such as wildlife disease and federal land management planning decisions.

The administration referenced the newly reformed council in announcing the first annual progress report on the administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, a broad conservation framework aimed at moving the country toward the goal of conserving at least 30% of all lands and waters by 2030.

More information about the council and how to submit nominations is forthcoming.

Laura BiesLaura Bies is a government relations contractor and freelance writer for The Wildlife Society. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and a law degree from George Washington University. Laura has worked with The Wildlife Society since 2005. Read more of Laura’s articles.

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