Hilton Head, S.C.– The Conservation Leadership Council (CLC) engaged senior officials from fish and wildlife agencies and conservation groups on entrepreneurial approaches to conserve public lands and wildlife habitats through local initiative, the private sector and limited government participation today at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting.
“As we face shrinking public budgets and rampant regulations, concerned citizens and government leaders alike are looking for practical alternatives to protecting the environment that rely on local experience and cooperative conservation between the private and public sectors,” said Ed Schafer, former Governor of North Dakota, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a member of the Conservation Leadership Council. “We need to find the right balance of environment and business. We created the Conservation Leadership Partnership to elevate and explore alternative, entrepreneurial-based solutions that entice everyone — Conservative, Liberal or otherwise — back to the discussion table to find ways to accomplish our shared goal of conserving the environment.”
The CLC roundtable took place as part of the 102nd Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting, which gathers more than 700 leaders from fish and wildlife agencies and conservation groups across North America in order to discuss conservation policy and management issues and accomplishments.
The CLC roundtable included a discussion on challenges that states face in managing public lands with Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech and a proposed market-based habitat credit trading system, presented by two leading authorities on conservation practices – Laura Huggins of the Property and Environment Research Center and Todd Gartner of the World Resources Institute. The CLC commissioned the habitat credit conservation white paper as part of a soon-to-be-released set of reports to explore alternative conservation policies. The roundtable also included an open and lively discussion with participants from local, state and federal governments, as well as the private sector and not-for-profit organizations.
The event was the second in a series of regional roundtable discussions being sponsored by the CLC to engage local leaders and draw upon their on-the-ground efforts to explore and identify innovative conservation initiatives that promote new policy ideas through entrepreneurial approaches. The first took place in Denver, Colo., in July 2012.