2012 Wildlife Policy Priorities
  • Climate Change and Adaptation
  • Funding for Wildlife Conservation and Management
  • Endangered Species Recovery 
  • Strategic Conservation Planning
  • Energy Development and Wildlife
  • Federal employee participation in professional societies
  • Wetlands Conservation
  • Invasive Species Prevention and Management
  • Wildlife Health
  • North American Model, Public Trust Doctrine


Climate Change and Adaptation
Polar Bears

Evidence is accumulating that wildlife and wildlife habitats have been, and will continue to be, affected by ongoing large-scale rapid climate change, the causes of which are exacerbated by human activities.

The Wildlife Society believes that climate change and its impacts on wildlife must be taken into account in long-term land and wildlife management plans and strategies.

Recent Action:

November 2011, Published Global Climate Change and Wildlife Position Statement.
January 2011, Commented on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s International Conservation Strategic Planning Initiative.

Funding for Wildlife Conservation and Management

The Wildlife Society engages each year in the federal budget process, to encourage the Administration to propose and Congress to appropriate adequate funding for the agencies that manage wildlife and other natural resources.

Additionally, TWS sits on the Steering Committee of Teaming With Wildlife (TWW), a coalition of diverse groups with the common objective of securing an adequate, long-term funding source for state agencies to accomplish fish and wildlife conservation, wildlife-related recreation, and conservation education.

Recent Acton:
September 2011, Urged lawmakers to support reauthorization of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
July 2011, Asked Congress to support sufficient funding for conservation programs in 2012.

Endangered Species Recovery

The recovery of threatened and endangered wildlife requires both regulatory mechanisms, such as the Endangered Species Act, as well as public and private partnerships to alleviate the greatest threats facing species on the brink of extinction. 

Recent Action:
August 2011, Published The U.S. Endangered Species Act Position Statement.
May 2011, Submitted recommendations for Spotted Owl Recovery Plan.

Strategic Conservation Planning

Federal land management agencies implement planning and land use rules that have a direct impact on wildlife conservation and management across the U.S. These rules must all encourage science-based provisions to manage and conserve our nation’s wildlife.

Additionally, regulations such as the Farm Bill represent a major source of funding for conservation programs and practices related to farming and ranching on private lands in the U.S. Government agencies should request, and Congress should appropriate, full funding for the conservation programs in the Farm Bill at their authorized levels.

Recent Action:
October 2011, Urged opposition to National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act.
September 2011, Expressed opposition of Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011.

Energy Development and Wildlife
Oil Drill

Federal and private lands contain many potential sources of energy that could be tapped to meet our nation’s growing energy needs, such as coal, oil and gas, wind, and sources of biomass for bioenergy.

However, these energy sources must be explored and developed with the effects on wildlife and wildlife habitat in mind. Oil and gas development is not appropriate on all public lands and, where it does occur, must balance the needs of fish and wildlife.

Recent Action:
November 2011, Commented on Arctic NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
August 2011, Petitioned EPA to regulate chemicals used in oil and gas development.

Federal employee participation in professional societies

Current federal policy may limit the ability of federal employees to serve on the boards of professional societies and to attend professional society meetings and conferences.

The Wildlife Society has been working for many years to change this policy by highlighting the professional development and networking opportunities that would benefit federal employees and their agencies.

Recent Action:
June 2011, Wrote to Office of Government Ethics in support of rule to allow Federal employees to serve on boards for professional and scientific societies
April 2011, Requested meeting with BLM to discuss guidance on scientific integrity

Wetlands Conservation

The Wildlife Society advocates policies and regulations that restore, protect, and maintain wetlands. Voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs, such as the Wetlands Reserve Program, are important tools for wetlands restoration on private lands, particularly when coupled with regulatory policies such as Swampbuster.

Federal programs, such as the Duck Stamp, are vital for wetland conservation activities within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Wildlife Society works to ensure a combination of efforts are undertaken to conserve wetlands and associated fish and wildlife on public, state, and private land.

Recent Action:
July 2011, Commended EPA guidance on identification of waters protected by Clean Water Act.
July 2011, Expressed support for restoring Army Corp of Engineer’s jurisdiction to include isolated waters with a significant nexus.

Invasive Species Prevention and Management

Invasive species negatively impact biological diversity (especially species at risk), productivity, environmental integrity, wildlife and human health, as well as economic effects. Industries affected by invasive plants and animals include agriculture, forestry, ranching, fisheries, and tourism.

TWS supports the passage of effective state and federal legislation that addresses the importation, transportation and mitigation of invasive plants and animals.

Recent Action:
September 2011, Nominated TWS member for Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.
July 2011, Commented on U.S. Forest Service’s Invasive Species Management Policy.

Wildlife Health
Bat White Nose Syndrome

Wildlife diseases, lead in ammunition and fishing tackle, and baiting and feeding of wildlife species are a growing threat to wildlife health. The Wildlife Society supports collaborative work with federal and state agencies to reduce the impacts of existing diseases and prevent future ones. TWS also supports legislation to eliminate lead in ammunition and fishing tackle and other threats to wildlife health.

Recent Action:
November 2011, Published Lead and Wildlife Factsheet.
September 2011, Facilitated joint submission of comments on AVMA Euthanasia Guidelines from TWS’ Animal Damage Management Working Group and Wildlife Disease Working Group.

North American Model, Public Trust Doctrine

The Public Trust Doctrine is considered the keystone of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. It represents the common law foundation for trust status of wildlife resources in the United States.

TWS is developing a Technical Review on the North American Model, to identify other components needed to contemporize the Model, assess the role of Mexico within the Model, and identify unique attributes of approaches within Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

Recent Action:
July 2011, Offered expertise to assist new Canadian hunting and wildlife advisory panel
December 2010, Published Public Trust Doctrine Technical Review.

The Wildlife Society | 5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 200 | Bethesda MD 20814-2144| Phone: (301) 897-9770 | Fax: (301) 530-2471