By Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States
On February 27, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined more than 200 organizations in submitting letters of support for USDA Wildlife Services to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and relevant Subcommittees. Within the letters, the organizations detailed the many and varied essential services that Wildlife Services provides related to wildlife damage throughout the nation.
Specific examples of their work include a diverse array of partnerships with state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies, local governments, private industry, and many others, to address a variety of wildlife management issues that are unable to be solved by traditional management approaches alone. Some of these projects include urban and suburban deer management where hunting has been prohibited by law. Others include assisting ranchers and farmers with predator management for species that are presently protected. And others include assisting state fish and wildlife agencies with managing invasive species such as feral hogs and nutria.
As a result of this cooperative work, wildlife damages are mitigated; wetland, riparian, and other habitats are protected; and big game and waterfowl species are conserved. The benefits that Wildlife Services provide our nation as a whole extend well beyond those listed here, and CSF fully supports the continuation of this essential program.
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?