News & Commentary
By Patrick Greenfield
Earth’s wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% in just under 50 years, according to a leading scientific assessment, as humans continue to clear forests, consume beyond the limits of the planet and pollute on an industrial scale.
By Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila, Renee Seacor, and Michelle Lute
This article explores the ethical considerations of coexisting with wolves, and exposes the agencies that are biased towards domination instead of “reciprocal, caring relationships to wildlife that benefit us all.”
From the Desk of the Executive Director: It’s National What Day? Coming soon: 2023 Calendar Photo Contest, Do You Know: American’s Wildlife Values results in your state, Our Coalition Partner: Attorneys For Animals, Join Now.
By Kristin Combs
This compelling letter, written by Wildlife for All coalition member Kristin Combs, challenges Wyoming Governor Gordon’s claims that wolf management in the state deserves praise. Combs explores the many ecological and economic benefits of wolves, while disproving the Governor’s claims that wolves are recovered and that the state is using best available science in its management practices.
By Christopher Ketcham
85 years ago, hunters were one of the primary user groups of public lands, and so the passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act seemed reasonable. However, over the past century, hunters have become a minority among gun owners, which begs the question, “Should the sale of a product that today is responsible for so much bloodshed, mayhem, fear and social division be tied to the financing of conservation?”
By Paul Krugman
In this op-ed in the New York Times, Paul Krugman argues that the current opposition of Republican politicians to environmental protection is not based on ideology or contributions from polluters, but rather because the environment has become part of a culture war with its roots in issues of race and ethnicity. Although Krugman focuses on climate policy, the same argument could be made about wildlife policy, as described in this excellent article in the New Yorker.
Symposium: Modernizing State Wildlife Management to Restore Wildlife Resiliency given at the 2022 North American Congress of Conservation Biologists.
This slide presentation by Kevin Bixby was given to ESC Grassroots via Zoom on July 11, 2022 and is based on his
op-ed published in Truthout by the same name.
By Don Molde
This opinion piece examines the notion of ‘sustainable yield’ versus intrinsic value of wildlife. Don Molde explains the American Wildlife Values survey and the different ways that people view and value wildlife. These values differ widely between the general public and the agencies that manage our wildlife, with agency personnel viewing wildlife “as something akin to property, managed for the sole benefit of humans.”
From the Desk of the Executive Director: What do Guns have to do with wildlife management, News: The Pittman-Robertson Act, Did You Know: find your state map, This Inspires Us, Our Coalition Partner: Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Spring giving.
Roadblocks to good wildlife management: beavers could be the answer to flooding and drought issues caused by climate change
With climate change transforming the American West, an industrious mammal could help mitigate some of the worst of the coming drought and flooding crises. The West is getting drier in the dry season and more prone to flooding in the wet season. Beavers could well be a relatively low-cost part of resiliency efforts. As natural ecosystem engineers, these largest-of-North-America’s rodents “increase water storage in ponds and surrounding floodplains, thus slowing winter flows, increasing riparian and meadow water availability and extending stream flow up to six weeks into dry summer seasons.”
Op-Ed in Truthout by Wildlife for All’s Executive Director, Kevin Bixby
It’s time to get guns out of wildlife conservation.
The firearms industry and state wildlife agencies have been joined at the hip since Congress passed the Pittman-Robertson (PR) Act in 1937. The law redirected an existing federal tax on firearms and ammunition to the states to help restore depleted game populations. The model worked as intended for years, but nonhunting gun buyers have far surpassed hunters as the main source of PR Act funds. At a time of rising gun violence, when there are more guns in the U.S. than people, does it make any sense to be using public funds to encourage more gun use?
Editorial: Why does NM give elk-hunt permits to private landowners, fire commissioners who question the status quo?
By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
This editorial looks at the current flawed system in which New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners are appointed and removed by the Governor with little to no oversight. This year, two commissioners were dismissed because their positions clashed with those of the governor. All appointed commissioners are supposed to by confirmed by the state Senate, although that has not happened in recent years. “The system is stacked so the only qualification to serve is showing fealty to the governor rather than making independent decisions about a resource you’re entrusted to manage and protect on behalf of the residents of New Mexico. That has to change.”
Wildlife for All’s Executive Director Kevin Bixby recently talked about wrestling wildlife governance reform from the tight grip of the hunting, fishing, and gun industries on Rewinding Earth’s podcast (Episode 92).
Three new Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board members with a love of hunting appointed without due process
By Emma Cotton
Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont recently appointed three new members to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. “All three cite a love of hunting that began during childhood.” Qualified candidates submitted applications – yet never received any reply. Appointments to commissions need to be transparent and follow due process.
By Fred Koontz & Adrian Treves
This op-ed examines Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and its priorities (which are at odds with current human values and biodiversity needs). “Clarifying the DNR’s mandate around a top priority of conserving all wildlife for all people will provide a unifying direction for the floundering board and strengthen the department’s biodiversity mission. Changing the department’s purpose recognizes that government agencies require modifications as society’s needs and public values change.”
By Michael Doyle
TUS Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open and expand hunting and fishing at 19 wildlife refuges which will open up 54,000 acres of land to hunting and fishing. While the federal agency will limit these opportunities to non-lead shells, ammo, and tackle, opposing senators have argued that “Policies or actions that reduce or limit sportsmen activities necessarily implicate wildlife conservation programs by affecting state agencies’ revenue.” These legislators are holding funding hostage in wildlife policymaking by urging the FWS Director not to ban lead.
By Ashley Stimson
The California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) recently designated four species of bumble bee as endangered species after California’s Superior Court ruled they fell under a broad definition of what constitutes a “fish”.
By Robert Toricelli
In this op-ed, former U.S. senator Torricelli makes the case for reform of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Council, explaining that many of the state’s regulations are not based on legitimate science.
Whose values count most in determining Vermont’s fish and wildlife priorities, regulations and public policies?
By Walter Medwid
In this op-ed Medwid writes, “Vermonters should rethink the focus of the Fish & Wildlife Department. Threats to biodiversity and shifting human values challenge the underpinnings of the department and the Fish & Wildlife Board…Whose values count most in determining Vermont’s fish and wildlife priorities, regulations, and public policies?”