Published since 1946
WMI Completes Second Wildlife Governance Training Session
The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) completed a second training session to help state wildlife agencies align programs and practices with Wildlife Governance Principles based on public trust thinking and good governance norms. Instructors from WMI, Cornell University, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Michigan Division of Wildlife led participants from several Midwestern states through the two day workshop. Participants learned about the public trust doctrine and broader public trust thinking, good governance, and ways to assess and improve agency alignment with the Wildlife Governance Principles. The participants expressed appreciation for the engaging discussions and identified concrete ways to begin applying the principles in their agencies.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Blue Ribbon Panel on the Future of Fish and Wildlife recommended state fish and wildlife agencies identify ways to increase their relevancy to America’s changing society. One way for agencies to become more relevant is to ensure they are fulfilling their public trust responsibilities for all species and all citizens in ways that are consistent with modern expectations for good governance. Wildlife Governance Principles provide a concise framework state agencies can use to accomplish this goal. The principles were developed through a collaborative process led by Dr. Dan Decker of Cornell University with participation from wildlife conservation practitioners from agencies, NGOs, and academia. Increasing alignment with the principles is expected to make state agencies more effective and relevant to our changing society.
As reported in June, WMI was awarded a Multi-State Conservation Grant in 2017 to hold training sessions to familiarize agencies with the principles, the self-assessment tool, and other ways to improve alignment with the principles. The first session was held in Estes Park, CO from May 22 – 24.
The second training session was recently completed in Potosi, MO. Participants came from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Indiana Division of Wildlife, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Missouri staff included the head of their Forestry and Law Enforcement Divisions, who brought new perspectives to the discussion. WMI Western Field Representative Chris Smith who helped develop the governance principles and training said, “Feedback from the participants showed that the principles are just as relevant to forest management and law enforcement as they are to fish and wildlife management.”
“Feedback from the participants showed that the principles are just as relevant to forest management and law enforcement as they are to fish and wildlife management.” - Chris Smith WMI Western Field Representative