The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation
While unrestrained killing of wildlife for market purposes was the main force that endangered North America’s wildlife, regulated hunting became the founding influence and remains the backbone of the world’s longest standing movement for wildlife protection, use, and enhancement. This social and political movement eventually coalesced into a systematic arrangement of conventions, policies, laws, and institutions that we recognize today as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Wildlife abundance in America today is often taken for granted. Much is threatened by this general lack of understanding, including wildlife diversity and abundance as well as our cherished tradition of open access to it. In an increasingly populous world and an ever expanding demand for energy and other resources, we now face enormous challenges in conservation. We cannot hope to succeed in our efforts to safeguard wildlife if we do not understand the policies, laws, and principles that collectively contribute to its continued existence.