May 4, 2020

Department of the Interior Receives nearly $25 Million for Conservation of Western Big Game Species

Last week, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced over $4.4 million in grant funding to conserve winter migration habitat for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn that will generate an additional $20.3 million in funding for a total of $24.7 million.

This grant money provides much needed financial resources to the Department of the Interior (DOI) to more fully implement Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3362, which directs DOI land management agencies to work in a collaborative partnership with 11 western states to improve the quality of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat on DOI federal lands. S.O. 3362 recognizes the importance of state wildlife management authority and private property rights while working to manage big game habitat in a thoughtful and innovative manner.

“Specifically, of the $4.4 million in grant funding, $1.3 million is provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with $3.1 million being provided from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. These additional funding sources will generate an additional $20.3 million in funding, for a total conservation impact of $24.7 million for on-the-ground conservation efforts to conserve big game habitat.” 

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) applauds the Department of the Interior and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for prioritizing this important initiative by providing much needed grant money to further implement S.O. 3362,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “Prioritizing the conservation of big game migration corridors through S.O. 3362 and through partnership with state fish and wildlife agencies and willing private landowners is a historic step forward to conserving these important landscapes.”

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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