September 14, 2018

CSF Joins Conservation Partners in Supporting Water Developments for Wildlife

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined 23 partner organizations from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) in requesting that the Department of the Interior (DOI) develop a department-wide policy recognizing the benefits of man-made water sources for wildlife conservation.

In a letter submitted to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the group highlighted the many benefits of man-made water developments. Also known as “guzzlers,” these man-made water sources are an important conservation tool used by wildlife management agencies and conservation organizations to provide water to game populations by catching, storing, and distributing rainwater. Guzzlers require regular maintenance and a high degree of cooperation between state and federal land management agencies and sportsmen’s conservation organizations that install them across arid landscapes throughout the West.

Because of their man-made origin, proposals to install and maintain these vital water sources are sometimes rejected by federal land managers. Despite wildlife reliance on these water developments, some federal managers persist in treating these water sources as unnecessary, if not detrimental to the landscape. CSF joined other AWCP members in arguing that this approach is misguided, and requested that the DOI address this issue by issuing an agency-wide policy that recognizes the important role of these man-made water sources and supports their use where scientifically appropriate.

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?

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