Boone and Crockett Club professional member John Organ has been appointed to lead a key science engine behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cooperative Research Units provide most of the applied wildlife and fisheries management research funded through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts. Conservation luminary and Boone and Crockett member Ding Darling established the program in 1935. Currently there are 40 units at universities in 38 states, together staffed by some 120 scientists with graduate faculty appointments.
A committee of cooperators from state fish and wildlife agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS and Wildlife Management Institute coordinates each unit.
The mission is three-fold: (1) Researching problems affecting wildlife and fisheries; (2) Training the next generation of wildlife and fisheries biologists; and (3) Training and technical assistance to cooperators.
Headquarters are located in Reston, Va., where Organ will serve as director beginning Aug. 25.
"Few people, including sportsmen, are fully unaware of the remarkable system that provides scientific oversight for sustainable-use conservation in our country," said Bill Demmer, president of Boone and Crockett Club. "Congratulations to our professional colleague John Organ on this important and well-deserved appointment. This is a position on the leading edge of conservation, and we're pleased to see continued guidance well synchronized with leadership from the sporting community."
Organ served with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region for 35 years, starting in Ecological Services and Refuges and working his way up to chief of the Region 5 Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program in 2005.
During his career, Organ facilitated research to help guide management of black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, river otter and other species. He led development of national policies on wildlife damage management. He serves on numerous scientific and advisory committees at international, national, state and university levels.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world's most successful system for fisheries and wildlife management. It acknowledges that wildlife belongs to all citizens, and it is implemented in the United States with money from hunters and anglers who pay for conservation programs. Science ensures that resources are harvested sustainably. Long before there was an Endangered Species Act, sportsmen used this model to restore threatened species such as whitetail deer, wild turkey, elk, Canada geese and many others. Today this model provides habitat, research, management and law enforcement to benefit both hunted and non-hunted species.