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

By Dian Olson Belanger | Go to book overview
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The primary resources for the writing of this book have been the published Proceedings of the Association's annual conventions. The only surviving records of the pre-World War I years, however, are journalists' reports of the conventions that appeared in Forest and Stream and The American Field, two contemporary weekly sportsmen's newspapers. These brief columns were copied in total for their historical interest as a Supplement to the 1980 Proceedings. Printed Proceedings for the years 1912 and 1917 were later found and included with the bound Proceedings for 1965-70.

The Proceedings, verbatim transcripts of convention action, have the strength of immediacy and completeness, the weakness (for later researchers) of the conversation of intimates who assume the reader, or listener, is already familiar with the topic under discussion. Context is often absent, as is follow-up to complete the account of a settled issue. Still, the scientific and political challenges emerge from the pages; diverse interacting personalities enliven them.

The Regional Associations (Northeastern, Southeastern, Midwestern, and Western) have also published Proceedings, which have been consulted on occasion but are not uniformly accessible. They have tended to emphasize the more technical aspects of game management, although regional political concerns have generated considerable attention. Individual state fish and wildlife agencies have also provided materials that shed light on both local and broader problems; some have answered specific questions.

Since November 1973 the IAGFCC Newsletter (after January 1977 the IAFWA Newsletter) has provided timely news to members, especially legislative updates, which have been particularly useful for revealing wildlife managers' priorities and interpretations of current issues. Earlier, some individual Association Presidents issued their own informally produced newsletters, such as the SUMAC-GAF of Harry Woodward and Chester Phelps.

After the International Association established its Washington office in 1972, it began accumulating correspondence and operational files. These have been recently organized, properly stored, and indexed to form a functional archives for researching action on concerns of the past fifteen years. In particular, memo

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