Salt Lake City, Utah: The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) commended Western Governors on the approval of a policy resolution on wildlife migration corridors and habitat during the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting that concluded last week. The policy resolution calls on federal agencies to support local initiatives to conserve these corridors and habitat, to work closely with Governors and state agencies on land management in these areas, and to provide additional funding for state-led corridor conservation efforts.
“The Mule Deer Foundation appreciates the Western Governors for recognizing the importance of wildlife migration corridors and habitat and for weighing in by passing a policy resolution on this critical issue,” said MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti. “States are responsible for wildlife management of big game species like mule deer, but it is essential that they collaborate with federal land management agencies and private landowners on the migration pathways of these animals that pay no heed to who owns or manages the land. The Governors’ resolution acknowledges the importance of these corridors while ensuring the states play an active role in implementing locally driven conservation efforts.”
The resolution recognizes the efforts being made by the Department of the Interior (DOI) to coordinate with western states to conserve and improve priority western big game winter range and migration corridors through implementation of Secretarial Order 3362. The Governors’ policy statement urges coordination between the states and federal land agencies on policies related to wildlife corridor and habitat management. It calls for any efforts to identify, regulate, or conserve wildlife migration corridors through administrative or legislative action to rely on collaboration with the states in order to advance locally driven solutions and to support these solutions through financial and technical assistance. In addition, it calls for federal and state agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations, to work with private landowners to implement voluntary corridor and habitat conservation efforts. The resolution also recognizes the importance of improved coordination on transportation planning and development, both between state wildlife and transportation agencies as well as between DOI and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“We at MDF have been working with our partners at the local, state, and federal level as well as private landowners and conservation organizations on projects that will improve migration corridors,” concluded Moretti. “We appreciate the Governors adding their collective voice through the WGA on this important issue and offering their support for collaborative, locally-led projects like those that MDF is coordinating.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of men, women and youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.