Experience and Expertise

Wildlife Law and Regulation 

The rule of law is a definite improvement over chaos, but sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference. The wisdom of the rules can get lost in complications, overreach, or unintended consequences.

Hunting and fishing regulations were the first and still are the primary rules for wildlife.  New rules have been added for non-hunted species and for habitat, air, and water.  As the set grows, it also changes. 

New technology, ideas, and interests call for new hunting and fishing rules:  the gray wolf once could be hunted or trapped without restriction; and, innovation in weapons, night vision, communication, and unmanned aerial vehicles are forcing changes to legal means and methods of pursuing wildlife. 

New policy can help by loosening up restrictions to promote results.  Incentives for negotiated solutions are called for in facing diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease and pneumonia that driven by exposure to captive and domestic animals.  For species in decline, the Endangered Species Act could accomplish more with incentives.  On Public Land, the active care and improvement of habitat can be held up by layers of rules.  Ironically, precluding active management creates more habitat problems.  Some rules – notably of the National Park Service – preclude wildlife management altogether.  The Bureau of Land Management is strictly limited in how it can attempt to control wild horses and burros that are destroying wildlife habitat.

Watershed Results works across the board of wildlife regulation. We have long experience in Endangered Species Act, hunting and fishing regulation, and the management of deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and other big game. We have worked on challenges in fisheries where extensive translocations and introductions of species across the country have created both good fishing and also pitfalls of invasive species and hybridization.