Why It Matters: To survive various seasonal conditions, wildlife, including big game species of interest to America’s sportsmen and women such as elk, deer, sheep, and moose, migrate to new areas in search of food, habitat, and more suitable temperatures throughout the year. Thanks to technological advances in global positioning systems, researchers have been able to better document and understand the importance of migration, and associated migration routes, for big game species in recent years. Adequate funding is necessary for our wildlife managers to further incorporate their data into on-the-ground conservation.
- Recently, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and nearly 30 of the leading hunting-conservation organizations sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request adequate funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help implement efforts to conserve wildlife migration corridors.
- Led by CSF, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Boone and Crockett Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the Wild Sheep Foundation, the letter identifies specific funding requests for OMB to prioritize funding for to successfully conserve and enhance migration corridors.
- Increased and dedicated funding to the Department of the Interior for the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362, an unmatched effort to conserve migration corridors.
In a recent letter, CSF and nearly 30 of our sporting-conservation partners sent a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to encourage funding for efforts to conserve big game migration corridors, a high priority conservation effort for CSF.
In the letter, the signatories noted that in the past several years, DOI has made available $15 million to implement Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3362, an innovative and highly effective effort to conserve migration corridors. Specifically, S.O. 3362 directs DOI to work in partnership with states across the Western U.S. to enhance and improve the quality of big-game winter range and migration corridor habitat on federal lands under DOI management, while also recognizing state authority to conserve and manage big game and the need to respect private property rights. Thanks to highly coordinated and strategic considerations, S.O. 3362 is the nation’s most successful migration corridors conservation effort to date.
Unfortunately, due to limited funding availability, DOI has been diverting money from other existing programs rather than establishing a new funding line item for implementation of Secretarial Order 3362. To address the funding shortfalls with the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362, the signatories of the letter identified a number of funding requests to conserve migration corridors. These requests include: $1 million for DOI coordination and support; $5 million for science and mapping efforts from the U.S. Geological Survey, $3 million for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service science efforts to further migration corridor research; $5 million for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resource management plan updates; $5 million for BLM’s Wildlife & Aquatic Habitat Management; $2 million for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide competitive grants for the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362; and $2 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Partners for Fish and Wildlife to enhance corridor conservation efforts on private lands.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation strongly encourages the Office of Management and Budget to prioritize funding for the conservation of big game migration corridors.
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?