"The Synergy of Conservation and Civil Rights: No Community Left Behind."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforces Federal civil rights laws, to ensure equal access to its programs and activities, and those of its recipients of Federal assistance. The Service provides numerous grants to State fish and wildlife or natural resources agencies, and in return for receiving this Federal assistance, the recipient State agencies agree to abide by Federal civil rights laws. The most prominent grants to State agencies are for Sports Fish Restoration and Wildlife Restoration.
The Federal civil rights laws which Federal assistance recipients must adhere to include:
1. Title VI of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color
and national origin in recipient programs and activities.
In addition, recipients are required
to abide by Presidential Executive Order 12898, which prohibits environmental
policies or practices which have an adverse impact on minority or low income
communities (this is known as the “Environmental Justice” Executive
Order). Recipients also must abide by Presidential Executive Order 13166,
which requires equal services to persons with Limited English Proficiency
The recipient programs and activities most impacted by the above legal requirements include: hunting, fishing, boating, nature observances, and any other activity involving public access. If recreational programs are either sponsored or permitted on recipient facilities, they must be inclusive to the different demographic groups named above. Covered educational programs include hunter education, aquatic education and boating education.