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On This Date: Ike Created a National Fish and Wildlife Policy

by Countable | Updated on 8.14.18

On August 15, 1956 President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower signed the Fish and Wildlife Act into law to create a comprehensive fish and wildlife resources management plan and expand opportunities for Americans to enjoy recreational access to fishing and hunting.

Since its enactment, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 has undergone several amendments aimed at further enhancing the ability of Americans to enjoy the nation’s natural resources. Those reforms have created volunteer programs aimed at restoring wildlife habitat and offering science education programs to children, in addition to increasing opportunities for fishing and hunting enthusiasts.

What did it do?

The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 established a national policy for the management of fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources that could support a commercial fishing industry. The Dept. of the Interior was directed by the bill to facilitate the "maximum sustainable production of fish" and undertake studies to ensure the industry’s stability. The agency was authorized to conduct relevant research and purchase land or water interests to conserve fish and wildlife resources.

In administering its programs and enforcing regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Act, the Dept. of the Interior was required to make decisions in a way that ensures Americans have opportunities to make use of the country’s fish and wildlife resources by taking into account:

"The inherent right of every citizen and resident to fish for pleasure, enjoyment, and betterment and to maintain and increase public opportunities for recreational use of fish and wildlife resources."

Additionally, the legislation expanded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which was tasked with carrying out related research, extension, and information services programs both in the U.S. and internationally.

What has its impact been?

Even after its enactment, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 has served as a platform for changes to U.S. fish and wildlife laws, as several subsequent amendments have built on its initial policies.

In 1972 an amendment banning airborne hunting or shooting was passed, which made it illegal to attempt to harm or harass animals from a plane or helicopter unless the hunter has received a federal or state permit. This type of hunting received national attention in 2008, as Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had advocated for expanded aerial hunting of wolves in her home state of Alaska. Another change was made six years later to allow volunteers to work on Fish and Wildlife Service projects while also letting the FWS accept donations of land or other property from the general public.

In 1998, would-be volunteers got another boost when an amendment to "promote volunteer programs and community partnerships for the benefit of national wildlife refuges" was enacted. This policy change expanded the number of volunteer programs at America’s 560 National Wildlife Refuges (totalling 150 million acres) and also allowed for the creation of community partnerships. As a result, nearly 42,000 people have volunteered for FWS programs. It also allowed for education programs about the National Refuge System to be developed to promote science to children and improve their scientific literacy.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: mel-nik / iPhoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(29)
  • OlderNWiser
    08/15/2017
    ···

    While the idea was good, my concern that it imagines fish and wildlife as things created for human pleasure and not living feeling beings has created a department devoted to killing wildlife often horribly. Enchanted by my first sighting of adorable ground squirrels in CA, they were poisoned habitat after habitat. Seeing fabulous gray foxes on my sunrise run in the forest. they were horribly trapped. When my impaired neighbor called the Department, they told him red squirrels are tree rats and need to be exterminated so he put out rat traps and poisons to horribly kill them. The Department needs to rethink and rewrite its policies to reflect actual science, real compassion, and to imagine solutions that include life--not a maximum suffering death. Today it functions more as a tool of wanton destruction much like the approach taken to buffalo: kill, kill, kill!

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  • Nancy
    Voted Angry
    08/15/2018
    ···

    TRUMP AND HIS BAND OF IDIOTS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY TO ENRICH THEIR GREEDY ASSES. TIME FOR THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED CONGRESS TO GROW SPINES AND BALLS IF NECESSARY----INCLUDING YOU ROB PORTMAN--AND PUT THIS POS POTUS IN HIS PLACE AND NOT DESTROY THE INTEGRITY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT ANYMORE!!!! WE ARE ANGRY AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE ANYMORE OF YOUR CRAP ANYMORE. PERSONALLY I THINK ANYONE WHO GOES ALONG WITH TRUMP SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A TRAITOR , STRIPED OF ALL ASSETS AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH PUBLIC EXECUTIONS SOUND REALLY GOOD ----AND I AM NOT FOR EXECUTIONS!!!!!!!

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  • Countryfirst
    Voted Excited
    08/15/2018
    ···

    How far we've fallen! Sad times with money grubbing ASSES in control..can't wait for a blue tidal wave!!!

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  • Dara
    08/15/2017
    ···

    Great policy! We need to protect our national resources and the environment. We have to live on this planet!

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  • Tinee
    Voted Excited
    08/15/2018
    ···

    Great example of a United States President protecting this country's natural resources not selling them to the highest bidder

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  • Alex
    08/18/2017
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    i agree we need protect our national resources

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  • Herman
    08/15/2017
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    An excellent example of a responsible federal agency, supported by tax dollars, ha provided resources to support the peaceful co-existence between humans and wildlife.

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  • Anna
    08/15/2018
    ···

    Protect all of our land. We need sufficient funding to allow responsible officials and volunteers to protect our flora and fauna.

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  • Anthony4520
    08/15/2018
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    A great and important act! However, in recent years, it has been greatly diminished by liberal politicians who do not value outdoor sports. Here in Connecticut, the affects have been felt very strongly, we’ve had a reduction in trout hatcheries and the DEEP has had to cut its staff. It’s important to make sure the people in charge of recreational game sport organizations are aware of the needs of sportsman and outdoor enthusiasts.

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  • C
    08/15/2017
    ···

    Protect ALL our public lands agencies & properly fund them so that we can hire enough employees to serve as thoughtful stewards of the land, water, flora & fauna.

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  • ProudAmerican
    08/15/2018
    ···

    As a Conservative who is also a Conservationist, laws like this are very important to me. They serve as the bedrock to responsible environmental stewardship without negatively affecting the economy. Unfortunately, the GOP has allowed the Left to basically claim the conservationist platform for themselves even though the first Conservationist President was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt.

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  • Sam
    08/15/2018
    ···

    The national freshman more life policy should be honored and protected.

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  • Stephanie
    08/15/2017
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    Let's protect the Great Lakes and wilderness.

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  • Barb
    08/15/2018
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    Ah, the days when we had fairly intelligent presidents who accomplished projects that actually benefited the citizens of this country. So unlike today.

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  • Matthew
    08/15/2018
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    Thanks, Countable for reminding me what REAL Presidents do . . .

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  • Christopher
    08/15/2018
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    This has been a great act and should continue to be, I believe more funding to the protection and development of wildlife habitat areas especially those that we as humans have destroyed should be allocated.

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  • Deepstate
    08/15/2018
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    Please read.... 'A Running List of How president trump is changing Environmental Policies'. National Geographic. com This country is in serious danger!!

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  • Azrael
    08/15/2017
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    Add more restrictions or leave it alone

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  • JoshieVersace
    08/20/2017
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    And since it was created I'm pretty sure members of the GOP have been trying to get rid of it

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  • Dawn
    08/17/2017
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    I am just afraid this agency will go in the dumper along with everything else that doesn't MAKE MONEY! That's the mindset of 🤡

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