North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is a set of principles that, when collectively applied, have led to the formation and successes of wildlife conservation and management in the United States.

Key to the Model are two major principles. First, fish & wildlife populations belong to all Americans. Second, they be managed for generations to come using best available science.

There are seven tenants to the North American Model, often referred to as the “Seven Sisters” or the “Seven Tenants.”

  1. Wildlife is a Public Resource - In the Unites States, wildlife is considered a public resource managed by government agencies for future generations.
  2. Prohibition on Commerce of Dead Wildlife - Commercial hunting and the sale of wildlife is prohibited to ensure the sustainability of wildlife populations for generations to come.
  3. Rule of Law - Since wildlife is a public resource managed by government for the people, access to wildlife for hunting is only allowed through ethical, legal mechanisms such as set hunting seasons, bag limits, license requirements, etc.
  4. Non-Frivolous Use - Wildlife is a shared resource that must not be wasted. Individuals may only legally kill certain species for food and fur, self-defense and property protection.
  5. International Resource - Some species cross local, state and national borders. The United States must work together with other countries to manage species across international boundaries.
  6. Scientific Management - In order to manage wildlife as a shared resource fairly, objectively, and knowledgeably, decisions must be based solely on sound science.
  7. Hunting Opportunities for All - The government allocates access to wildlife regardless of wealth, prestige, land ownership or social class.
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