Supporting professional fish and wildlife management for over a century

In 1902, eight wildlife managers from six states met in Yellowstone National Park on behalf of the nation's beleaguered fish and wildlife populations to establish "a system of mutually beneficial interstate cooperation in game and fish management."

There, these members of the new National Association of Game and Fish Wardens and Commissioners (NAGFWC) advocate mandatory state hunting licenses to fund wildlife management and an end to spring waterfowl hunting.

The NAGFWC becomes the International Association of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners in 1917 to reflect the Association’s interest in full cooperation with Canada after the U.S. signs a Migratory Bird Treaty with the country for the protection of migratory birds by prohibiting or regulating their hunting. In 1976, the organization is renamed the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, then shortened to its current name, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, in 2006.

Though the Association’s name may have changed over the last 100 years, its commitment protecting and supporting state, provincial and territorial authority for fish and wildlife conservation and preventing the exploitation of natural resources on public and private lands and waters within their borders has not.

Major achievements over the past 100+ years

  • 1918: Participates in Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • 1934: Creates model of state fish and wildlife agencies
  • 1937: Supports passage of Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act
  • 1950: Supports passage of Dingell-Johnson Federal Aid to Sport Fish Restoration Act
  • 1972: Establishes Association office in Washington, DC
  • 1973: Supports Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreement
  • 1978: Represents states’ right to charge license fees in Supreme Court
  • 1984: Supports Wallop-Breaux Boating Trust Fund Amendment to Dingell-Johnson
  • 1985: Advocates conservation in Farm Bill
  • 1986: Supports North American Waterfowl Management Plan
  • 1991: Passed a resolution establishing a goal of contributing $10 million annually for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
  • 1996: Leads “Teaming With Wildlife” to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered
  • 2000: Begins Multistate Conservation Grant Program with USFWS – which has directed more than $56 million to 150+ priority projects of state agencies
  • 2004: Leads summit on conservation education, evolves into North American Conservation Education Strategy
  • 2005: Leads support for of State Wildlife Action Plans
  • 2006: Founds the National Conservation Leadership Institute, a seven-month leadership development program
  • 2007: Leads National Fish Habitat Action Plan
  • 2008: Supports passage of Farm Bill Re-authorization, includes an increase of $4 billion in total spending
  • 2009: AFWA and the state agencies created the Southern Wings Program
  • 2010: Advocating for dedicated funding in climate change legislation for natural resource adaptation
  • 2011: Reaffirmed its commitment to the $10 million annual goal to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
  • 2012: Reaffirmed its commitment to the Southern Wings Program 10-year Vision to achieve the $2 million annual goal for the conservation of shared priority species.
  • 2013: Development of our Legal Strategy
  • 2015: Worked with Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources


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