Book Review: North American Wildlife Policy and Law


North American Wildlife Policy and Law. Bruce D. Leopold, James L. Cummins & Winifred B. Kessler. Boone and Crockett Club. 2018. Hardcover, 480 pages, 200 photos and graphs – 203 x 254 x 40.64mm (8 x 10 inches). ISBN 978-1-940860-27-5 and ISBN10 194086027X. $95 hard cover edition; $80 eBook. Available at B&C online bookstore

Book Review: North American Wildlife Policy and LawSince its founding in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club has been a major force for laws and policies to secure the future of North America’s wildlife and wild places. The Club’s contributions run like indelible threads throughout the fabric of North America’s conservation history. It is most fitting that this comprehensive text book was conceived and created by the Boone and Crockett Club. It is a definitive treatise on natural resource policy and law in North America and a vital resource for undergraduate curricula and wildlife professions. The comprehensive text thoroughly examines the history and foundation of policy, reviews and analyzes major federal, state, and provincial laws and policies important to natural resource management, and most uniquely discusses application and practice of policy to ensure sustainability of wildlife, fish and their habitats.

A basic understanding of wildlife law and policy is essential knowledge for anyone who aspires to work in wildlife management and other natural resource fields. Now, for the first time, students and professionals have all the information they need in one comprehensive volume.

The book begins by examining the need for, and history of, wildlife policy and law; wildlife and gun ownership; wildlife law enforcement; constitutional authorities and jurisdictions; how laws and policies are made; statutory law and agency rule-making; relationships of Indigenous peoples to natural resources; and subsistence resource use. Building on this foundation are detailed sections addressing:

  • The Foundations of Wildlife Policy and Law
  • The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation
  • Jurisdictions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with detailed coverage of key federal laws
  • The roles of state and provincial agencies, Native American tribes, and conservation organizations
  • International wildlife conservation
  • Policy jobs in conservation
  • Roles of politics, professionals, and the public

As the editors write within the introduction to the book: “Our primary purpose for this textbook is to provide students in wildlife and related fields with a comprehensive source for information on wildlife law and policy in North America. Coursework on policy is required in the curricula leading to degrees in natural resources as well as for professional certification as a Wildlife Biologist®. We intend this as a key textbook to satisfy those academic requirements. We also offer it as a comprehensive reference for diverse professionals working in the wildlife and natural resource fields.” Moreover, the book’s extensive coverage makes it an excellent reference for anyone interested in natural resource management, public policy, or environmental law.

Contributors include professors from prominent wildlife programs across the country and throughout the world, biologists holding top-level jobs in government agencies, and current natural resource professionals. Chapter 35 (Wildlife Policy and Law in Africa – Pages 480-501) has been written by Conservation Frontlines Joint Editor-in- Chief Gerhard R Damm.

A comprehensive online preview of North American Wildlife Policy and Law is available at http://www.boone-crockett.org/nawpl/NAWPLpreview/