Managing American Wildlife: A History of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

By Dian Olson Belanger | Go to book overview

Preface

Managing American Wildlife is a history of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, written for the Association. It chronicles and interprets the IAFWA's eighty-plus years of biological and political activity within a context of American and conservation history, especially the history of wildlife conservation. From obscure beginnings and years of fitful growth and uneven effectiveness, the Association has emerged as a major voice for wildlife interests today.

While literature on conservation is plentiful and representative of the gamut of points of view, almost nothing has been written about conservation efforts, especially wildlife conservation, on the state level, where in fact most of the responsibility for wildlife resides and where most of the professional accomplishment has taken place. This history of an organization of state and provincial wildlife officials addresses that gap. It is not a compilation of individual state endeavors. Rather, it traces landmark developments in representative states that highlight issues significant to all states as well as to wildlife resource conservation in general.

Managing American Wildlife emphasizes state game managers' insistence upon the right and necessity of state authority in wildlife admin- istration. Parochial local interests, an encroaching federal government, and, in recent years, international agreements too hastily concluded have challenged state jurisdiction. How the states met these challenges and set their own agenda, while cooperating with the federal government in major programs, forms a central theme of the book.

The IAFWA history underscores the International Association's primary focus on management, the positive, scientific manipulation of fish and

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