Why Does NARN Advocate for a New Wildlife Management Approach?

Wildlife Management in North America

There is a new powerhouse fish and wildlife coalition in Washington State, and NARN is fully engaged.

NARN held the first ever Washington Fish and Wildlife Reform Convention in the fall of 2022, along with its partners, Washington Wildlife First, Animal and Earth Advocates, Center for Biological Diversity, Wild Fish Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, and the Conservation Angler.

NARN was on the steering committee for the convention, which congruently solidified an ongoing partnership between a wide-range of fish and wildlife stakeholders across the PNW by the formation of a new group, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Reform Coalition, of which NARN is on the steering committee as well. The coalition plans to host its second convention this year.

Our coalition advocates for stronger Wolf, Bear, Cougar, and other species protections, is fighting to steer the conservation narrative within WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) away from an consumptive-first approach and towards one that echoes true conservation, preservation, and perpetuation of wildlife for future generations of humans and animals who are not human. We are also advocating for a strong conservation policy within WDFW, one that requires a complete, holistic approach to conservation by taking an ecosystems-based approach over a population-based approach.

We are on the precipice of a new wildlife “management” era in Washington State, which is leading the way for the entire country. Donate now and help push truly protective fish and wildlife management policies into practice; we need policies that acknowledge the inherent value of all individuals, including the wild beings of Washington State.

How does the current model hurt humans?
Colonialism

Wildlife management was built by and for groups that held an inequitable distribution of power in North America, repercussions of which are still expressed via policies rooted in past colonial narratives that prop up discrimination today

Exclusionary

People of Color, women, non-consumptive users, differently- abled people, Tribes, and those who do not believe wildlife exists only for the benefit of humans are disproportionally left out of decision making

How does the current model hurt animals who are not human?
Human-centered

Nonhuman animals are not respected as individuals who hold personal wants and needs of their own

Consumptive Priorities

Policies supporting consumptive use involving maiming or killing are often implemented over true conservation-based approaches

There is a need to protect all species

Right now, only species deemed “worthy” are managed, leaving thousands without protection or conservation considerations. This approach is contrary to an ecosystems-based one capable of reversing our current biodiversity crisis

There is a need for compassionate policy

Trapping, mass slaughter contests, “pest” extermination, poisoning, and other lawful practices unnecessarily inflict suffering on wildlife and companion animals

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