ENR 5649, Wildlife Conservation Policy, was divided into three parts:
- Part I detailed the conditions in the United States that brought about the regulation of trade in and the taking of fish and wildlife and discusses how federal statutes, case law and treaty-making powers have contributed to the conservation of fish and wildlife.
- Part II focused on the “human dimensions” of wildlife management, especially the integration of the biophysical and social science information in wildlife-related decision-making.
- Part III explored contemporary issues in fish and wildlife conservation, including the protection of endangered species, the regulation of invasive and exotic species, the control of so-called “nuisance” species and — more generally — the controversial nature of wildlife management.
The course included a number of guest speakers from state and federal agencies, so students were able to get a good sense of how wildlife law and policy plays out in practice. Lofty ideals of the law can often turn on how single words or phrases are defined, such as “harm,” “incidental take,” and “significant portion of its range.”
As a graduate student, I contributed to research about the which agencies are responsible for decisions about wildlife in all 50 states, how the members are appointed, and requirements for serving. In Ohio, the Ohio Wildlife Council consists of eight members appointed by the governor to four-year terms each. No more than four can be from the same political party, and two much represent agriculture.
I also learned before most of the rest of state that the Ohio Wildlife Council was considering a proposal to open a trapping season on bobcats. This led me to get involved with a group of community activists working to stop this proposal by attending open houses, submitting written comments, and testifying twice in front of the Ohio Wildlife Council. More about that is below and on the Environmental Advocacy page under Spring 2018.