WMI Special Sessions: Fish and Wildlife Conservation on Tribal Lands and Waters: Needs and Opportunities

Tue, March 9, 2021, 8:00 am - Tue, March 9, 2021, 10:00 am

This special session will lay a foundation for understanding fish and wildlife conservation on tribal lands in the United States. There are 574 federally recognized tribes with about 54 million acres of land in the Lower 48 states. Membership In tribes, many of which possess rights to hunt, fish, and harvest under treaties with the United States, is growing rapidly. If the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act becomes law, tribes will be eligible for nearly $100 million in new funding for fish and wildlife conservation. Clearly, tribal engagement in fish and wildlife conservation programs will grow significantly, and this means that state fish and wildlife agencies will have the opportunity to strengthen their partnerships with tribal authorities to address landscape-scale conservation challenges, including climate change. Tribes share concerns about the future of hunting, fishing, and trapping as traditional cultural activities, and in the context of recruitment, retention, and reactivation, both states and tribes can benefit from deeper collaboration. Finally, the concept of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is historically and culturally significant to tribal authorities, and enhancing state understanding of TEK may provide mutual benefits to fish and wildlife conservation on both tribal and non-tribal lands and waters. In this session, tribal and state representatives will address their experiences, helping participants to appreciate the opportunities for enhanced collaboration.

8:00 am

Welcome, Introductions, and Overview

Sara Parker Pauley, Missouri Department of Conservation

8:15 am

An Overview of Natural Resources Conservation in Indian Country: Present and Future

Julie Thorstenson, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society

Serra Hoagland, USDA Forest Service

8:35 am

The Legal Framework

Sherry Enzler, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Lane Kisonak, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

8:55 am

Federal Coordination with Tribes

Scott Aikin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

9:15 am

Experiences of State Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Curt Melcher, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Chandra Harvey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

9:35 am

Needs and Opportunities - Panel Discussion

Facilitated by Sara Parker Pauley, Missouri Department of Conservation and Arthur "Butch" Blazer, National Wildlife Federation

10:00 am Adjourn