State Legislatures

The goal is to enact legislation to establish an ideal wildlife management framework in your state. 

Suggested Actions:

  • Identify the wildlife champions and allies in your state legislature. Work with them to draft and pass legislation that does the following:
    • Aligns state wildlife policy as expressed in statute with the Public Trust Doctrine. Here’s an example from draft legislation in New Mexico: “It is the purpose of this act to provide for the conservation and management of the state’s wildlife as a public trust with intrinsic and ecological value, for the equitable benefit, use, and enjoyment of all residents and visitors, including future generations.”
    • Give’s the state’s wildlife agency legal authority to regulate the take of all species and their habitats, including invertebrates.
    • Abolishes the state’s wildlife commission (three states–MN, NY, CT–currently don’t have commissions), or alternatively… 
    • Changes the criteria for selection of commissioners to ensure that non-consumptive users are represented in proportion to their demographic in the general population, and eliminates the requirement that commissioners be license buyers.
    • Establishes a new, recurring, and dedicated funding source for non-game conservation that is not tied to the sale of hunting and fishing licenses or to Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal grants. 
  • Don’t get discouraged if your efforts are not immediately successful. It often takes years to get bills through state legislatures.