Contacts: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator & Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
From July 11 – 16, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) western states representatives attended the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Summer Conference in Manhattan, Kansas.
This annual meeting brings together over 400 North American fish and wildlife professionals to discuss the many shared biological, wildlife management, and land use issues. In attendance were state fish and wildlife directors, commissioners, biologists, and administrators, as well as federal agency representatives and conservation partners including CSF’s Western States Coordinator Aoibheann Cline and Inter-Mountain States Coordinator Ellary TuckerWilliams. The summer meeting covered “Grassland Conservation and Management in a Working Landscape,” and was hosted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
WAFWA’s summer conference provides an invaluable opportunity for fish and wildlife agency leaders to communicate directly with one another regarding relevant issues and successes. Topics included Lesser Prairie Chicken conservation; efforts by the Western Native Trout Initiative; Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management; wild sheep management; inland and marine fisheries management; mule deer management; invasive aquatic species control; and legal and legislative issues in the west, including lead-ammunition and fishing tackle bans, and current recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts.
A number of conservation professionals were honored with awards, commending their work to conserve fish and wildlife resources in the West. Virgil Moore, retired Director of Idaho Fish and Game was honored with WAFWA’s Phillip W. Schneider Lifetime Achievement Award for his four decades of leadership and contributions to conservation.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?