Representing Ranching Interests at National Wildlife Meeting


Dena Fritz, of Chester, MT serves on the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee (NWSAC) and recently traveled to the Washington, D.C. area to participate in the group’s annual committee meeting.  The NWSAC advises the Secretary of Agriculture on policies and activities of USDA’s Wildlife Services program, which seeks to address and prevent damage caused by wildlife.  Fritz is one of 20 members appointed to the committee, representing the Marias River Livestock Association and ranching interests.

[EasyDNNGallery|1577|Width|400|Height|400|position|left|resizecrop|False|lightbox|False|title|False|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]“I appreciate the opportunity to serve on the committee because it allows me to voice the concerns of farmers and ranchers, as a whole” said Fritz. “By serving on the NWSAC, I have the unique opportunity to engage positively and productively with stakeholders who may fall on the other side of the fence in terms of our values towards wildlife damage management. It’s as if we can meet in the middle, lean on the fence from our respective sides and share concerns. This sort of exchange is important to ensure the policy recommendations made by the committee will improve WS’ ability to serve a public with diverse needs and values,” she added.

Wildlife Services provides federal leadership assisting governments and stakeholders in reducing or preventing damage due to wildlife.  The programs often assist farmers and ranchers, when requested, by reducing crop and livestock losses due to pests and wildlife, and rely on a range of management techniques as a part of WS’ integrated damage management approach.

NWSAC membership represents a broad range of agriculture, animal welfare, and wildlife interests. Members represent academia, airport safety, animal welfare, farmers and livestock producers, and state wildlife agencies, among other interest groups. The NWSAC serves as an open forum for members with diverse interests to have a voice in the policies and guidance in the Wildlife Services program. The NWSAC facilitates the mission of APHIS/WS by advising the Secretary of Agriculture on the committee’s recommendations, and supports WS’ implementation of its Strategic Plan (2013-2017).

On March 17-19, 2015, NWSAC convened at APHIS headquarters in Riverdale, MD and crafted 19 recommendations to present to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Recommendations included issues related to airport hazard and rabies management programs, communications efforts, outreach information about management methods, and wildlife health.

Dena Fritz is a farmer/rancher from Chester, MT. In addition to being a commercial cattle producer, Ms. Fritz is 7th-12th grade Ag teacher.


Source:  Marias River Livestock Association



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