Director Dan Ashe. Credit: USFWS.
A Conservation Legacy Made to Last
One of the best parts about being the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is having the opportunity to travel throughout our great nation. To quote the late Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere, man.”
From the Artic to the Everglades, I’m continually awed by the landscapes surrounding me, and wherever I go, I similarly find special people determined to protect our lands, not just because they love them, but because they want them to thrive and sustain fish and wildlife for future generations.
To do this, it’s time to see the big, landscape-scale picture.
Implementing landscape conservation strategies isn’t something that’s “nice to do.” It isn’t an adjunct to our daily efforts to conserve wildlife. It is how the day-today work of the agency needs to be done from now on—if we want to be successful into the future.
We must work collaboratively with our partners to use the best available science to set conservation objectives—and to design, implement and evaluate landscape conservation strategies that drive toward those objectives.
Only in this way can we maximize the return on our limited conservation dollars. Only by delivering conservation at appropriate scales can we ensure that our work makes a difference for native wildlife and ecosystems. And only by identifying and prioritizing work that conserves intact and functionallandscapes can we ensure that these vital resources are protected for generations to come.