The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 2901-2912) was enacted in 1980 to foster the development of conservation programs for nongame fish and wildlife beyond the traditional hunting and fishing arenas. The law encourages the states to develop, revise and implement conservation plans for fish and wildlife by providing financial and technical assistance. The Act provides for the ‘vesting’ in the appropriate state agency of responsibility for conservation plan development. The Conservation plan must provide for an inventory of the nongame fish and wildlife that are within the state which are valued for “ecological, educational, esthetic, cultural, recreational, economic, or scientific benefits by the public.” Once inventoried, the state agency is to identify the range of the populations, habitat, significant problems and priorities with recommended actions for implementing conservation measures. Plan reviews and revisions are to occur at intervals of not more than 3 years, with provisions for inter-agency cooperation and public input.
(Always refer to the most current version of the law, either by checking the compiled laws, or referring to the U.S.Code Service site above.)