[Note: I have uploaded the series of three columns related here to this blog.]
Long touted as “the most successful wildlife conservation program in the world,” the North American Wildlife Conservation Model is considered to be the prime reason we still have a wide diversity of viable fish and wildlife populations on this continent. But just what is the North American Model? That is the subject of my June Alberta Outdoorsmen column.
In that column I briefly review the history of the model’s development from the 19th century to the present. Concerned hunters, anglers and trappers wanted to ensure that our wildlife and the land it depended on was conserved and accessible to all, not just to the rich and well connected—as was the case in Europe and elsewhere.
The model has seven components:
- Wildlife as Public Trust Resource—no one should own wildlife.
- Elimination of Markets for Game—no one should profit from the sale of wildlife, living or dead.
- Allocation of Wildlife by Law—wildlife use should be allocated by law.
- Wildlife should only be Killed for a Legitimate Purpose—either food, fur, self defence or property protection.
- Wildlife are considered an International Resource—and require international cooperation in law and regulation.
- Science is the Proper Tool for Discharge of Wildlife Policy—and should be independent of partisan politics.
- Democracy in Hunting—ensuring every citizen the right to hunt and access to hunting areas.
In following columns, I will look at each of these components in detail and discuss how they fit with current practices, especially in Alberta.