Cooperation Among Agencies In Wildlife Planning

Man's overall manipulation of land and water resources has not always been in the best interests of recreational or aesthetic values. This will bear particular emphasis where the wildlife and fisheries aspects of recreation are concerned. Governmental agencies designated to perform specific functions in land and water management have pursued their objectives with vigor and ever increasing efficiency but nevertheless with singleness of purpose. In delta regions, wildlife, fish and related recreational activities have, for the most part, been ignored in a vast plan of agricultural improvement which has transformed even the most remote niches of wildlife habitat into intensively farmed "biological deserts". Streams are channeled to provide accelerated drainage and wetlands and natural lakes are dried up by this form of progress. Obviously, lands which fall into this category cannot readily be reclaimed; the effect of these programs on wildlife is, for all practical purposes, irreversible. Wildlife agencies have traditionally accepted the role of a regulatory body, ascertaining that all citizens share an equal opportunity to harvest existing game and fish. In the past, poachers presented a more serious threat to wildlife than did agricultural endeavor and an agency which could effectively check illegal or destructive methods of hunting and fishing could consider it obligation to the public fulfilled. Habitat destruction and alteration has outstripped the poacher's wildest dream in its disastrous effect on wildlife. As this basic threat to outdoor recreation appears and grows, wildlife agencies must expand their facilities to encompass all factors which would threaten public wildlife entrusted to their keeping. In this respect, planning and interagency cooperation, enacted by a competent planning staff within the wildlife agency, is essential.

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