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Helping Wildlife in California

The HSUS's vision for wildlife management


    Joining together for better wildlife management will serve both wildlife and Californians. iStockphoto

Wildlife in California is facing unprecedented challenges from development, habitat loss, declining biodiversity, and climate change. Solving these broad-based problems will rely on all people who care about wildlife, working together.

The situation

Backed by our more than 1.2 million California supporters, The HSUS builds relationships for the future of the Golden State's wildlife and habitats.

Historically, license fees from hunters and other consumptive users financed the state’s Department of Fish and Game.

But today, less than one percent of Californians hunt, a percentage which continues to decline. In fact, California wildlife watchers and hikers outnumber hunters by a factor of 20.

The state’s wildlife management activities are also funded by grants from the federal government and allocations of taxpayer revenue. But this is not proving sustainable in today’s economic climate. All Californians who care about wildlife and their habitats must seek creative and collaborative solutions to support ongoing and improved protections for our state’s wildlife.

Where we stand

The HSUS's position statement on sport hunting spells out our perspective. We campaign to end some of the worst wildlife abuses like poaching, captive hunts, and fox pens—abuses that hunters and non-hunters alike can agree are unethical and inhumane. We will continue to raise concerns about the welfare problems we see facing wildlife in California and seek support from those who share these concerns

What we do 

These are some of our activities in California:

  • Funded the care of rescued dogs turned K9 wildlife law enforcers
  • Offer rewards for information leading to convictions in individual poaching cases
  • Initiated the formation of the California anti-poaching network
  • Operate the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, a 13-acre facility providing medical and rehabilitative care for native wildlife
  • Champion efforts to strengthen California's wildlife protection laws and their enforcement
  • Added our California state director, Jennifer Fearing, to a diverse set of stakeholders developing a vision for the California DFG
  • Provided Fearing's services as a member of the Cal-TIP board of directors, a non-profit organization focused on stopping illegal poaching and polluting

Too often, the focus is on where different outdoor constituencies disagree, rather than on the many areas where the values of hunters, wildlife watchers, and animal lovers intersect. Many California hunters do understand that engaging with other stakeholders is practical when an increasing majority of the population doesn't hunt. Our vision for wildlife management is one where everyone who cares about wildlife has a voice.

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