Conference Scheduled to Discuss the Future of Wildlife

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Some of the state’s brightest and most knowledgeable wildlife experts will soon be gathering in Stillwater for a special wildlife conference, to be held July 13-15. The conference is the next step in the development of the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS).

The strategy, which is being created by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in collaboration with wildlife stakeholders, will address the needs all fish and wildlife species in the state. It will also use a habitat approach, rather than a species-by-species management approach. All 50 states are creating similar strategies. When fit together like a puzzle, they will show the current state of America’s wildlife and identify actions needed to keep fish and wildlife populations healthy.

Hunters, anglers and boaters, and participants in outdoor recreation have traditionally funded the majority of fish and wildlife conservation. This funding has not been enough to address the needs of all 800 plus wildlife species in Oklahoma. That is the case nationwide, and all state fish and wildlife agencies have been working for 20 years to fill this funding gap. This strategy is a component of the new Federal State Wildlife Grants Program: The nation’s core program for keeping America’s wildlife populations healthy.

This conference is one vitally important step - and opportunity - in the process of preparing Oklahoma’s CWCS. The purpose of this conference is to bring together people who care about the future of fish and wildlife conservation in Oklahoma, especially those most knowledgeable about fish and wildlife resources in Oklahoma, along with the best available information about species and habitats of greatest conservation need. A series of intensive workshops will examine and integrate the latest information which will be used in the CWCS.