September 16, 2021
The voting membership of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies passed seven resolutions during its Business Meeting held on September 14, 2021.
RESOLUTION 2020-01-07: SUPPORT FOR THE COOPERATIVE FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT PROGRAM
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Association) opposes any increase in overhead rates charged to existing CRU Units; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association opposes any overhead rate greater than 15% to be charged against new CRU Units organized in partnership by federal and state fish and wildlife agencies to address emerging critical management needs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association encourages the Secretary of the Interior to identify strategic opportunities for the creation of additional Units within the CRU, including a determination regarding the desirability of having at least one Unit in every state, and a determination regarding the creation of additional Units and greater capacity within existing units to enhance engagement of the CRU with diverse audiences; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association encourages the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Congress to authorize, fund, and staff additional Units in the CRU, in such cases where any such new Unit is closely aligned with the priorities of the relevant state fish and wildlife agencies and a suitable state-federal-private sector partnership is already in place to support the work of the Units; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association opposes any decrease to the base budget for the CRU; and
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Association supports such increases to the base budget of the CRU as may be necessary for the creation of new Units, the full staffing of existing Units, and the support of research functions and CRU programs.
RESOLUTION 2021-02-07: ENHANCING THE FALL FLIGHTS PROGRAM AND INCREASING STATE AGENCY INVESTMENTS IN CANADIAN WATERFOWL BREEDING GROUNDS
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies reaffirm the original $10 million annual goal for the Fall Flights program and for states to strive to maximize their investments to at least achieve an interim $5 million annual goal by 2026 as U.S. matching funds for NAWCA projects in Canada; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies commit to making progress toward achieving the interim $5 million goal and the long-term $10 million goal by encouraging each state to make an annual investment, based on the state’s proportion of waterfowl hunters and duck harvests averaged over the period from 2000 through 2019; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies work with Canadian government agencies to establish goals for increased investments in wetland conservation and NAWCA match for state monies provided through the Fall Flights program; and
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies create a standing “Fall Flights Advisory Committee” to oversee the implementation of the Fall Flights program, to report annually to the Association’s membership, and to provide recommendations to the Association’s President and Executive Director.
RESOLUTION 2021-03-07: CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF FREE-RANGING DOMESTIC CATS
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes predation on wildlife and pathogen transmission by free-ranging domestic cats as important and detrimental factors affecting wildlife that resource agencies are charged to manage and conserve; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies supports efforts to increase awareness of these problems and provide solutions and best practices for member agencies, as outlined in the AFWA Toolkit to Address Free-ranging Domestic Cats (Felis catus) on Agency Lands Managed for Native Wildlife and Ecosystem Health.
RESOLUTION 2021-04-07: STRENGTHENING STATE INVOLVEMENT IN THE NATIONAL FISH HABITAT PARTNERSHIP (NFHP) AND RECOGNITION OF THE CODIFICATION OF THE NATIONAL FISH HABITAT ACTION PLAN THROUGH PASSAGE OF THE AMERICA’S CONSERVATION ENHANCEMENT ACT
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes and encourages state fish and wildlife agencies to continue to support and participate in National Fish Habitat Partnership and the National Fish Habitat Action Plan implementation as codified through the passage of The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act.
RESOLUTION 2021-05-07: STATE WILDLIFE ACTION PLANS AND LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Association reaffirms the importance of SWAPs and the need to collaborate at regional and landscape scales to help fish and wildlife agencies meet their statutory and regulatory responsibilities to conserve fish and wildlife, their habitats, and associated biodiversity; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Association adopts the following guiding principles to strengthen the ability of SWAPs to guide and/or contribute to regional and/or national landscape conservation priorities to help ensure the next generation of SWAPs are even more effective, accessible, and relevant to agencies, partners, and other stakeholders:
- Identify and apply regional and shared approaches for SWAP development, implementation, and measuring progress to improve effectiveness, efficiency, cost-savings, and consistency.
- Increase consistency and alignment of SWAPs across jurisdictions so conservation can be implemented more readily at biologically relevant scales.
- Provide support and incentives to leverage and build capacity for cross-jurisdictional and landscape conservation.
- Ensure SWAPs are developed and implemented collaboratively and in partnership with a diverse set of partners.
- Make SWAPs more accessible and relevant to broader constituencies.
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, the Association adopts the recommendations of the SWAP and Landscape Conservation Work Group, Leading At-Risk Fish and Wildlife Conservation: A framework to enhance landscape-scale and cross-boundary conservation through coordinated State Wildlife Action Plans and acknowledges the importance of working with the Regional Associations of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies, and other partners to implement said recommendations.
RESOLUTION 2021-06-07: IN SUPPORT OF A NATIONAL WILDLIFE DISEASE SURVEILLANCE NETWORK
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association reaffirms its long-standing commitment to improve coordination of measures that ensure fish and wildlife health, while recognizing and respecting the missions, jurisdictions, and abilities of state and federal fish and wildlife managers and their agencies; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association reaffirms its long-standing commitment to the establishment of a coordinated national fish and wildlife disease surveillance network; and
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Association supports the following programs and initiatives designed to build capacities, detect and manage emerging and increasingly varied fish and wildlife disease challenges, and effectively mitigate and suppress the significant economic, social, and cultural impacts associated with fish and wildlife diseases:
- Increase and sustain funding for existing federal, state, tribal, and regional fish and wildlife disease laboratories; and
- Encourage Congress to provide new and sustained federal funding to establish and/or enhance fish and wildlife disease surveillance capacities in those regions of the United States lacking such resources; and
- Encourage Congress to provide increased and sustained federal funding for state, federal, regional, and tribal fish and wildlife agencies to train and coordinate their operational workforces to deliver effective fish and wildlife health programs; and
- Encourage Congress to provide increased and sustained federal funding for aligned university research and training programs to assure that their enormous capacities are harnessed in support of targeted fish and wildlife disease surveillance and management efforts.
RESOLUTION 2021-07-07: APPRECIATION TO THE RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT FOR a Successful HYBRID Annual Meeting and COMMEMORATION OF A YEAR MARKED BY ORGANIZATIONS’ ADAPTATION TO A NEW NORMAL
WHEREAS, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies convened its 111th Annual Meeting virtually on September 8-10 and in Providence, Rhode Island with virtual participation on September 11-14, 2021; and
WHEREAS, state fish and wildlife agency and associated natural resource professionals have continued to advance the vital work of conservation amid the ever-changing economic and public health landscape of a nation still combatting the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the adoption of life-saving vaccines and continued use of COVID-19 safety measures have allowed agencies and organizations, in many cases, to resume in-person operations, public functions and events, and to adapt to a “new normal” with greater safety than the earliest phase of the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the Association has worked through its committees and partnerships to develop resources and support increased capabilities for zoonotic disease prevention including through the One Health framework and the National Fish and Wildlife Health Initiative; and
WHEREAS, the importance of the great outdoors and wildlife to the country’s physical and mental health was reflected in increases in revenue under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950, and through state hunting and fishing licenses; and
WHEREAS, the Plenary Session of the 111th Annual Meeting (“The Learning Organization”) addressed the upheaval and change distinguishing this period while encouraging leaders to embrace adaptive thinking, create inclusive organizational cultures, and challenge our own assumptions;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Association extends its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for hosting the Association’s first in-person meeting since March 2020, and to the Association’s members for a successful and productive 2021 Annual Meeting and for demonstrating a deep capacity to adapt and respond this year’s many intersecting challenges.