Statement from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies about the Proposed Reorganization of the Department of Interior

June 22, 2018

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies learned yesterday of the Administration’s proposal to merge administrative responsibilities of other Agencies into the Department of Interior (DOI) in an effort to improve the efficiency of the regulatory process.  Included in this proposal, the Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service would return to DOI and merge with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The purpose of this reorganization is to consolidate the administration of the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act into one Agency within DOI. This merger would also look to combine the two Agencies’ science and management capacity, with the intent of creating a more consistent Federal fisheries and wildlife policy and improved service to the public, particularly on infrastructure permitting.

“We are looking forward to working with the Administration in conducting efficient and effective conservation in the states,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “We trust our federal partners will reach out to state fish and wildlife agencies as true partners in managing fish and wildlife on the American landscape.”

This proposal comes in response to President Trump’s March 13, 2017 Executive Order to reorganize the executive branch.

To view the signed copy of Secretary Zinke’s memo, click here.  For more information about the DOI Reorganization, click here.