Recently, the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council (HSSCC) submitted recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior regarding two important concerns about wildlife conservation.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
The HSSCC recommended that Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Interior Secretary Zinke direct a third-party scientific review of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) CWD Herd Certification Program (HCP) and the accompanying programs standards to identify gaps in effectiveness, and create measures to improve the strength of the HCP. In addition, the HSSCC recommended the establishment of a CWD task force to facilitate cooperation between state and federal agencies regarding captive and wild cervids. This task force would be composed of the Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) staff, and staff from land management agencies within the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, and include representation of wild and captive cervid stakeholders, as well as wildlife and agriculture interest groups.
Man-made Water Sources
Because of droughts in the West, man-made water sources have become increasingly important for wildlife. The HSSCC recommended to Secretary Zinke to establish a policy acknowledging and facilitating use of water developments as a valuable and effective tool for wildlife management and conservation on Federal lands. Such a policy would provide for the restoration, maintenance, and installation of existing and new developments where natural water source are not available or inadequate for wildlife conservation purposes, and would also assure that Federal land managers consider these water projects in a consistent manner.
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?