State Fish & Wildlife Agency Directors Pass Seven Resolutions at AFWA’s 2018 Annual Meeting

September 18, 2018

The voting membership of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies passed seven resolutions during its Business Meeting held on September 12, 2018.

RESOLUTION #2018-01-07: FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCY RELEVANCY

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies requests, and fully supports, the Blue Ribbon Panel Relevancy Working Group assembling a diverse team of individuals to develop a draft road map by March 2019 that would help member organizations share successful strategies and help identify and break down barriers to engaging and serving all constituents.

RESOLUTION #2018-02-07: RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE AFWA BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR THE PREVENTION, SURVEILLANCE, AND MANAGEMENT OF CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association extends its appreciation to the members and leadership of the Fish and Wildlife Health Committee in drafting the first-ever set of Best Management Practices for CWD in North American cervid populations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association affirms and endorses these Best Practices as representing the best-available current scientific information regarding the management of CWD in North America; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association encourages its members to adopt those practices contained in this document that are deemed appropriate for implementation by its individual members in their own jurisdictions in order to promote the scientific management of CWD and reduce the risk of further spread of the disease; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association hereby requests that the Fish and Wildlife Health Committee initiate the development of further science-based recommendations regarding the implementation of certain practices described in the BMP document, to include, but not limited to: a coordinated strategy to address concerns arising from the interstate and intrastate movement of live cervids; a coordinated strategy to help agencies address potential risks from hunter-harvested carcass movements (and other tissues of cervid origin); a strategy for reducing CWD transmission risk from the baiting and feeding of wild cervids, as recommended by the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; and recommendations for minimizing the risk of CWD transmission in natural cervid urine products.

RESOLUTION #2018-03-07: CONTINUED FUNDING FOR THE COUNCIL TO ADVANCE HUNTING AND THE SHOOTING SPORTS THROUGH 2020

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies supports the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports to permit it to continue the necessary work to effectively address R3 efforts at the national level by encouraging state fish and wildlife agencies to fund the Council through 2020. 

RESOLUTION #2018-04-07: PARTNERSHIP RESOLUTION BETWEEN THE ASSOCIATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES AND THE DIVERSITY JOINT VENTURE

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies becomes a partner in the Diversity Joint Venture and serves as a strategic supporter of this effort.

RESOLUTION #2018-05-07: TO ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION BY AFWA MEMBERS IN THE 2019 JOINT CONFERENCE OF THE AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY AND THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes and appreciates the importance of this first-ever joint conference of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies encourages the staff of its member agencies and partner organizations to participate in this joint conference, in order to continue the dissemination of fisheries and wildlife science and thereby ensure the success of science-based management and conservation across North America.

RESOLUTION #2018-06-07: FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AT LANDSCAPE SCALES

LET IT BE RESOLVED, the Association acknowledges the importance of collaborating at landscape scales to help fish and wildlife agencies meet their statutory and regulatory responsibilities to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitats. Furthermore, when collaborating at landscape scales, the Association recognizes the need to establish durable partnerships with strong governance structures that include relevant, engaged and contributing governmental members, private conservation organizations, private landowners, academic institutions and other partners who recognize the role and authority of state fish and wildlife agencies and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the special relationship between state fish and wildlife agencies and the Service;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association supports using the following guiding principles when developing or participating in landscape scale conservation partnerships intended to conserve fish and wildlife:

  1. State and federal agencies with management responsibility for fish and wildlife should be considered as peers and integral to development of an initial framework, boundaries and priorities for landscape-scale conservation partnerships.
  2. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should consider a governance model that includes a steering committee or board of directors made up of state fish and wildlife agency directors and leaders of federal agencies or their designees that can set policy and when appropriate include private landowners, private conservation organizations, tribes, academic institutions and other diverse stakeholders to optimize conservation outcomes.
  3. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should seek to conserve ecological integrity that supports healthy and functioning natural communities and working landscapes that conserve fish and wildlife, particularly species of greatest conservation need.
  4. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships are complex and require trust, a dedicated coordinator, technical and science development staff and communication expertise. Regular communication from top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top should be a priority.
  5. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should agree on a long-term vision and goals and clear, specific, practical and measurable objectives, performance measures and outcomes to guide work and ensure accountability.
  6. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should seek to address the population status, key threats and habitat and management needs of all fish and wildlife but special consideration should be given to co-developed and shared priorities between State Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, including species of greatest conservation need identified in State Wildlife Action Plans, threatened and endangered species and other priority at-risk species and their habitats.
  7. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should undertake work in the context of the longer term goal of sustaining healthy, connected, and resilient cross-border ecosystems that provide essential ecosystem and societal values for current and future generations 
  8. Planning, funding and implementing on-the-ground conservation is important to the success of landscape-scale conservation partnerships and should recognize the important role of private landowners, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholders in achieving collaborative and cost-effective outcomes. Technical and management staff from governmental and non-governmental organizations should help direct and deploy implementation.
  9. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should develop and use the best available applied science that is shared, transparent and collaboratively obtained.
  10. When possible, landscape-scale conservation partnerships should build upon existing landscape conservation planning and management initiatives undertaken by Migratory Bird Habitat Joint Ventures, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, watershed organizations and similar partnerships.
  11. Landscape-scale conservation partnerships should periodically undergo an evaluation to assess priorities, effectiveness and adaptability so they can be refocused as needed to achieve intended outcomes.

RESOLUTION #2018-07-07: IN APPRECIATION OF THE FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION FOR HOSTING THE AFWA ANNUAL MEETING AT THE TAMPA MARRIOTT WATERSIDE HOTEL IN TAMPA, FLORIDA SEPTEMBER 9-12-2018

WHEREAS, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies held its 108th Annual Meeting in Tampa located on the beautiful west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico; and, 

WHEREAS, during the plenary session we talked about customers, millennials and others and how fish and wildlife agencies can best reach them and engage them with products and services.  We talked about state and provincial agencies of the future including things such as institutional capacity and constructs for thoughtful engagement with customers and a proactive policy culture; and,

WHEREAS, some of us were able to observe and participate in FWC’s Alligator Management Program, where Florida’s alligator population is managed for its long-term well-being and the benefit of users; and 

WHEREAS, others enjoyed learning about Tampa’s Cat Rescue, one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats, and home to about 80 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species or visiting the Florida Aquarium located in the Channel District hosting over 20,000 species of aquatic plants and animals; and  

WHEREAS, some of more adventurous of us had an opportunity to visit the 335-acre Busch Gardens, Tampa’s Africa-themed park located near the University of South Florida, featuring roller coasters and the opportunity to interact with a number of African wildlife; and,

WHEREAS, the state fish and wildlife agency directors had the opportunity to visit the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center, where we paddled along the Noonan Branch Creek Paddling Trail enjoying the newly created Florida Conservation and Technology Center in Apollo Beach while keeping an eye out for mudflats with sting rays, snook and red fish; and

WHEREAS, we all enjoyed the quadrennial Canada Night 2018, whose menu included lobster bisque, fish cakes, perogies, bison roast, and elk roast and was hosted by the Canadian partners of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan evening of Canadian food; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eric Sutton, and his staff gave AFWA’s Annual Meeting an environment of professionalism, collegiality and friendship to hold its 108th AFWA Annual Meeting; and 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies extends its deep appreciation to Executive Director Sutton, and his staff, for hosting the 108th Annual Meeting. 

Read full text of all resolutions.