What struck me as being one of the most amazing documents
to come out of the Flyway meeting was a letter written to Paul
Schmidt, Chief of the Office of Migratory Bird Management of the
FWS and Steve Wendt, Chief, Migratory. Bird Conservation, of the
Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). The letter was written by Robert
McDowell, Chairman, Atlantic Flyway Council, with a cc: to the
Mississippi Flyway Council Chairman. It regarded the request by
the FWS and CWS agencies for input to the development of a "North
American Harvest Strategy for black ducks."
It says in relevant part:
"The Council believes that the overriding
requirement for success of this project is recognition of the
absolute need for a coordinated harvest management strategy for
effective management of this shared resource... WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS
THAT SHOULD BE DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN CONSULATION?
Established protocol for assessing stakeholder
concerns exist at both federal, state and provincial levels.
and should serve the purpose of determining needs and desires
of the diverse public using the black duck resource in both countries.
A partial list of stakeholders follows: The Atlantic and Mississippi
Flyway Councils; US and Canadian Federal Wildlife agencies; Provincial
and State /wildlife agencies; migratory bird hunters; nonconsumptive
wildlife viewers; animal rights activists; native
peoples; wildlife oriented business interests including hunting
and tourist lodges and guiding services; university wildlife
research interests, and sporting arms, ammunition, and equipment
manufacturers, among others.
Obviously all of these stakeholders do not need
to be directly involved in consultations between countries, but
consultants should endeavor to assess the concerns of these groups..."
While it looks like a giant joke, we believe the
document may do a couple of things for us: - It may give us automatic
STANDING for the first time. WE ARE ACKNOWLEDGED STAKEHOLDERS!
Note that they didn't say "animal welfare"! They said
There's no doubt that it's set up to favor the consumptive
user, but I believe it is a breakthrough in terms of acknowledgement
and we have to take our wins when we get them. Any ideas about
how to use our new status as stakeholder?