Environmental Justice

Fish & Wildlife

American law and tradition place primary responsibility for fish and wildlife management with state governments. State fish and wildlife agencies manage wildlife populations, regulate hunting and fishing, restore and manage habitat, and work with other agencies to conserve fish and wildlife resources across state lines. Some state fish and wildlife agencies operate underneath larger state natural resources agencies, while others are independent. State agencies are overseen by boards or commissions which are typically appointed by the governor.

The activities of state fish and wildlife agencies have historically been funded primarily by revenue from hunting and angling licenses and other user fees. The federal government provides funding for state-level fish and wildlife conservation through the Federal Aid in Wildlife (Pittman-Robertson) and Sportfish Restoration (Dingell-Johnson) programs, through federal excise taxes on hunting and angling equipment. Several states have developed additional mechanisms for funding fish and wildlife conservation, such as trust funds that receive dedicated funding from tax revenues, license plate sales, or lottery dollars. Other federal legislation has provided additional dedicated funding for state-level wildlife conservation, such as the State Wildlife Action Plans.

Impacts of, as well as to, fish and wildlife, can extend beyond the control of fish and wildlife agencies. Pollinator declines and invasions of exotic species have an enormous impact on state economies, and states are starting to attempt to find solutions for these issues within their borders. In addition, development of energy resources such as wind power and new transmission lines can have significant impacts on wildlife and habitat, and states need to take those impacts into consideration by using proper siting and/or mitigation of impacts policies.

General Resources

Federal Agencies:

U.S. Department of the Interior: http://www.doi.gov/
Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/
Non-Governmental Organizations (many national NGOs have regional or state offices that can be identified through their main web sites):

Defenders of Wildlife: www.defenders.org
Center for Biological Diversity: www.biologicaldiversity.org
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies: www.fishwildlife.org
Teaming With Wildlife: www.teaming.com
National Wildlife Federation: www.nwf.org
Wildlife Conservation Society: www.wcs.org
National Audubon Society: www.audubon.org
American Bird Conservancy: www.abc.org
Ocean Conservancy: www.oceanconservancy.org

Development and Wildlife Conservation

Wind Energy Development Resources:

Defenders of Wildlife, "Making Renewable Energy Wildlife-Friendly"

ELI: "State Enabling Legislation for Commercial-Scale Wind Power Siting and the Local Government Role" 2011

ELI: "Siting Wind Facilities on State-Owned Lands and Waters" 2011

National Wind Coordinating Collaborative - Wildlife Workgroup

American Wind Energy Association

At least ten states have adopted wind energy project siting laws. California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have siting statutes or regulations with specific provisions regarding wind projects. For an excellent 2011 analysis of the laws of these various states, see http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0023.htm.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wind Energy Development Information

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "Voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines" for siting and monitoring wind energy projects on land. The guidelines use a "tiered approach" for assessing potential adverse effects to species of concern and their habitats.

Invasive Species

Resources on Invasive Species Laws, Strategies and Science:

U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Library: National Invasive Species Information Center (comprehensive information on invasive species. Search by state resources, by multistate resources, and by subject). www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov.

Environmental Law Institute - Invasive Species Program (offers reports, model laws, strategies and other tools for states to manage invasive species. For example, the report "Cooperative Prevention of Invasive Wildlife Introduction in Florida" (2008) analyzes state and federal efforts to control invasive species, and makes recommendations to harmonize efforts): www.eli.org/Program_Areas/Invasives/index.cfm.


Resources on Pollinators including Bats:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - National White-Nose Syndrome Communications Leader: Ann_Froschauer@fws.gov; see also www.fws.gov/whitenosesyndrome

U.S. Geological Survey - National Wildlife Health Center, Madison WI (information on WNS): http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/white-nose_syndrome/

Bat Conservation International: www.batcon.org

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Research Service & Bee Research: Dr. Jeffery Pettis Jeffery.Pettis@ars.usda.gov

The Pollinator Partnership: www.pollinator.org

National Academy of Sciences: The National Research Council report Status of Pollinators in North America (2006) identified declines in populations of North American pollinators - bees, birds, bats, and other animals and insects that spread pollen so plant fertilization can occur. (Report In Brief)
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