Last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a business meeting to vote on the nomination of Ms. Martha Williams to serve as the next Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which passed the Committee on a remarkable bipartisan vote of 16-4.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one of the most important federal agencies for sportsmen and women, and is the only agency that is dedicated solely to conserving our nation’s fish, wildlife, and their habitat.
Why it matters: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the premier federal agency that is dedicated to conserving our nation’s fish, wildlife, and their associated habitats. The FWS also provides significant access opportunities for sportsmen and women through the management of 568 National Wildlife Refuges and the 70 National Fish Hatcheries, which collectively support more than 2.4 million hunting related visits and 7.3 million fishing related visits annually. The Committee passage of Ms. Williams’ nomination is a critical step in her confirmation process and the strong vote demonstrates the wide-spread support for her to serve as the next Director of the FWS.
On January 17, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to pass the nomination of Ms. Martha Williams to serve as the next director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on an impressive vote of 16-4.
Prior to the Committee’s vote on Ms. Williams’ nomination, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) sent an alert to members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) urging them to vote favorably on her nomination. In November, CSF and nearly 30 of the nation’s top sporting-conservation organizations sent a letter to the leadership of the Committee expressing strong support for Martha’s nomination.
Ms. Williams was nominated in 2021, but due to a procedural requirement, had to be nominated again by President Biden in the second session of the 117th Congress. Throughout her previous work experiences at the Department of the Interior and as the past Director of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Ms. Williams has continuously demonstrated her support for America’s 55 million sportsmen and women. Given her experience as a state fish and wildlife agency director, Ms. Williams understands and appreciates the critical role maintained by states in advancing sound, science-based conservation practices, and the importance of hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting in sustainable fish and wildlife management.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation urges the Senate to quickly bring Ms. Williams’ nomination to the floor for a final vote.
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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?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (5.15%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.89%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.05%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (13.16%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (42.95%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.79%)