The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world’s most successful. No other continent has conserved as many species of native wildlife as North America. While other countries struggle to conserve the wildlife they have left, we enjoy great abundance and diversity of wildlife. This is due, in large part, to forward thinking by early conservationists who saw the need to conserve wildlife and their habitats. Their efforts were the source of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which strives to sustain wildlife species and habitats through sound science and active management.
There are two basic principles to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
- Our fish and wildlife belong to all North American citizens.
- Our fish and wildlife are to be managed in such a way that their populations will be sustained forever.
In addition to these two basic principles there are “Seven Sisters” that make up the framework of this model.
THE SEVEN SISTERS
Wildlife Is Held In The Public Trust: The public trust doctrine means that wildlife belongs to everyone. Through shared ownership and responsibility, opportunity to enjoy wildlife is provided to all.
Commerce In Wildlife Is Regulated: Early laws banning commercial hunting and the sale of meat and hides ensured the sustainability of wildlife through the regulation of harvest and the sale of wildlife parts such as teeth, claws and antlers.
Hunting And Angling Laws Are Created Through Public Process: Hunting seasons, harvest limits and penalties imposed for violations are established through laws and regulations. Everyone has the opportunity to shape the laws and regulations applied in wildlife conservation.
Hunting And Angling Opportunity For All: The opportunity to participate in hunting, angling and wildlife conservation is guaranteed for all in good standing, not by social status or privilege, financial capacity or land ownership. This concept ensures a broad base support for wildlife law enforcement, habitat conservation and research.
Hunters And Anglers Fund Conservation: Hunting and fishing license sales and excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment pay for management of all wildlife, including wildlife species that are not hunted.
Wildlife Is An International Resource: Proper stewardship of wildlife and habitats is both a source of national pride and an opportunity to cooperate with other nations with whom we share natural resources. Cooperative management of migrating waterfowl, songbirds and marine life is one example of successful international collaboration.
Science Is The Basis For Wildlife Policy: The limited use of wildlife as a renewable natural resource is based on sound science. Wildlife agency professionals adapt management strategies based on population and habitat monitoring to achieve the sustainability of wildlife populations and their habitats.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world’s most successful. No other continent has conserved as many species of native wildlife as North America.