On Dec. 6, 2021, a new Landscape Conservation Joint Task Force was established during a signing ceremony at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Executive Committee Meeting. The establishment of this Task Force is the next step in landscape conservation collaboration to foster even stronger relationships. Long-term collaboration between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the states will provide the necessary durable foundation for working together more effectively with Tribes, other agencies, landowners, conservation organizations and other partners so essential for balancing and implementing landscape-scale conservation in a sustainable manner for the future. The Task Force outlined in the Charter will examine what is working and what is not and make recommendations to stitch together a collaborative approach.
The Service and state fish and wildlife agencies have a long history of working together on complex conservation issues at landscape scales. As the entities that hold principal statutory responsibility for the stewardship of the nation’s biodiversity, it’s crucial that the Service and state fish and wildlife agencies work closely together to develop national leadership and coordination to achieve landscape-scale conservation outcomes for the future of America’s fish and wildlife resources.
“Collaborating with state partners is a hallmark of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission, and today’s announcement of a new Task Force will further strengthen this already solid relationship,” said Shannon Estenoz, Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. “The Task Force's work will also complement the goals of the proposed Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would help address the biodiversity crisis and provide tools to further collaborative conservation. We are committed to working with states, Tribes, Congress and all stakeholders to conserve the full diversity of wildlife that is essential to supporting America’s economy and well-being.”
"This Task Force is notable as it enables the Service and AFWA to work side by side on shared collaborative conservation objectives and ultimately deliver lasting conservation," said Martha Williams, the Service’s Principal Deputy Director. "I look forward to co-leading this team with AFWA’s President, Tony Wasley, to implement actions that create thriving ecosystems and communities."
“The Association is excited to form this new Task Force with the Service. This effort will build upon the states’ existing conservation priorities, strengthen our shared commitment to conservation, while building trust through shared perspectives,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “Realizing no one-size-fits-all, the Task Force will find those common themes that will enable us to highlight opportunities and collaborate on the implementation of conservation efforts.”
The Task Force will provide a collaborative venue to develop shared priorities, foster communication, explore new opportunities, provide a forum for early problem-solving on issues to enhance landscape conservation progress, and develop relationships with and support the work of the regional state/Service collaboratives such as the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), Midwest Landscape Initiative, the committee working with Nature’s Network in the northeast, and the evolving collaborative in the West.
The Task Force will include senior members from the Service and state fish and wildlife agencies and be co-chaired by the Service Director and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. The public can also connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.
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About the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Founded in 1902, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies, promotes sound resource management and conservation and speaks on important fish and wildlife issues. More information is available at www.fishwildlife.org and on Facebook and Twitter.
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