Clearly there is a recognized need for leadership in conservation. One of the great challenges facing our professional agencies and conservation groups is to decide who comprises the constituency we seek to lead. In short, what is our constituency? In many jurisdictions only a fraction of the public is even aware that a specific state agency for wildlife conservation exists. Even a large majority of hunters, long recognized as perhaps the constituency, do not look to professional agencies for leadership . . . at least not with respect to issues dealing specifically with hunting. One of the more important points to arise from our discussions was that successful conservation leadership must entail providing those who might be led with a sense of ownership and empowerment. Furthermore, this notion was conjoined to an important corollary, that individuals and organizations so empowered can become effective leaders themselves. Therefore conservation leadership is very much about creating such leadership in others. The road ahead is never certain and change is the immutable reality of existence. For those of us who care deeply about nature and the preservation of humanity within it, the purpose of our lives is clear. We are involved in a noble and vitally important task and so we cannot avoid considerations of leadership.

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