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Environmental and Animal Groups: Views on Hunting

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The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Founded in 1902 in Yellowstone National Park, they now represent fish and wildlife professionals in all U.S. states and territories as well as federal agencies. The Association professes the goal of "sound management and conservation" and works with hunters, providing resources for hunting and fishing as well as links to the National Shooting Sports Foundation on its website.

This document states that "The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes and supports properly regulated and managed hunting, fishing and trapping as appropriate management techniques for fish and wildlife and their habitat, which, in turn, provides recreational opportunities for everyone to enjoy. The Association recognizes the role of hunting, fishing and trapping as important activities in the development of our conservation heritage and hunters and anglers as important leaders in the conservation movement. The Association supports ethical and safe hunting, fishing and trapping, which respects wildlife and their habitat as important components of our legacy as wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists."

The Center for Biological Diversity

Founded in New Mexico by three former U.S. Forest Service employees, the Center's stance is that "the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature -- to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants." The Center's six main programs address endangered species, global warming, global biodiversity, marine species and ocean habitats, public lands, and urban wildlands. The Center works alongside hunters in these efforts, cooperating with organizations such as The California Fish and Game Commission, "expanding the non-lead requirements to hunting of non-game mammals and birds and prohibiting the use of lead .22-caliber and smaller-rimfire cartridges for non-game hunting in the condor range"[37].

The Center for Biological Diversity also supports the view that wildlife populations may potentially benefit from hunting. They believe that "public hunting has played a central role in the restoration and conservation of wildlife in North America for the past century" and that including hunting as part of wildlife management practices "will help foster long-term conservation"[38].

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The Delta Waterfowl Foundation

Founded in 1938 as a waterfowl research facility in Manitoba, Delta Waterfowl is an explicitly pro-hunting organization, "the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting." Though primarily concerned with duck hunting, Delta Waterfowl also advocates using traps as a way of controlling duck predators. They have partnered with U.S. Bank, Geico, Go-Devil, Original Log Homes, Hunting Retriever Club, SportDog, Purina, Buck Knives, Cabela's, Federal Premium Ammunition, and shotgun manufacturers Stoeger, Mossberg, and Remington [39].

Ducks Unlimited [edit]

Founded in 1937 by a small group of waterfowl hunters, Ducks Unlimited was started with the goal of raising money in the United States for waterfowl conservation in Canada, as the Canadian prairie is the breeding ground for most North American waterfowl. Today 90 percent of Ducks Unlimited members are hunters. Their website provides extensive resources for duck hunters, ranging from dog training to shooting and the use of decoys. Ducks Unlimited claims that hunters contribute more to conservation efforts than the general public [40].

The Ducks Unlimited hunting position statement states that "Ducks Unlimited, Inc. supports the sustainable use and harvest of renewable resources based on sound science. We support waterfowl hunting, when conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner, as a legitimate and acceptable use of a renewable resource."

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"Ducks Unlimited, Inc. does not direct its resources toward the influence of firearm or hunting legislation unless the legislation is clearly and directly related to waterfowl habitat conservation"[41].

Izaak Walton League of America [edit]

Founded in 1922 by a group of anglers, this organization was named after the 17th century author of The Compleat Angler. The League has over 260 chapters of grassroots volunteers who address issues such as restoring wildlife habitats, decreasing pollution, improving water quality, and educating "outdoor recreationists" on conservation ethics. "Protecting recreational shooting and hunting opportunities has long been part of the League's mission,"[42] and they have partnerships with the shooting sports industry and government agencies in addition to operating over 100 shooting ranges throughout the country.

"The Izaak Walton League of America believes hunting should be considered a valuable management tool where it is compatible with other resource uses and purposes"[43]

National Audubon Society (NAS) [edit]

The National Association of Audubon Societies was incorporated in New York state in 1905. According to their website, "Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity." Many hunters are members of NAS, and Ted Williams, a proponent of deer hunting and spokesman for hunters, is a regular contributor to Audubon Magazine [44][45][46].

"The National Audubon Society has never been opposed to the hunting of game species if that hunting is done ethically and in accordance with laws and regulations designed to prevent depletion of the wildlife resource. We have made this clear repeatedly in official statements of policy, and it remains Audubon policy. Audubon will advocate restrictions on hunting, including the complete closure of a hunting season, whenever we are convinced that the welfare of the species involved requires it. However, we insist on sound scientific information before deciding these issues." [47]

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) [edit]

One of the National Wild Turkey Federation's primary goals after "the conservation of the wild turkey" is "the preservation of our hunting heritage."[48] Established in 1973, NWTF also works to get women, children, and the disabled more involved in hunting. "The NWTF has led the charge in promoting youth hunting opportunities and has teamed up with the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the National Shooting Sports Foundation to remove youth hunting barriers across the nation."[49] They claim that hunters pay for wildlife conservation, and that conservation depends on getting more people involved in hunting.

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National Wildlife Federation (NWF) [edit]

In 1936, Ding Darling, illustrator of the first Federal Duck Stamp to be purchased by waterfowl hunters, convinced President Franklin Roosevelt to invite over 2,000 hunters, anglers, and conservationists across the country to a conference in Washington, DC. Originally named the General Wildlife Federation, NWF "was formed with the idea of uniting sportsmen and all outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts behind the common goal of conservation."[50] According to NWF, "American wildlife conservation is grounded in the belief that wildlife belongs to the people, a concept commonly known as the Public Trust Doctrine or the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation."[51]

NWF not only works with hunters, but actively promotes hunting as part of our "heritage," provides information on where to hunt, and views hunting as a "tradition" to be preserved and passed on to future generations [52].

National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) [edit]

According to their website, "The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve America's wildlife heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect, enhance, and expand the National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries that secure its ecological integrity.

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Recent Psychology PhD graduate in the process of moving to Canada to begin my postdoctoral career working with kids. Also love animals, the outdoors, travel, cooking, drawing, movies, music and photography.

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Environmental and Animal Groups: Views on Hunting