Federal Regulatory Agencies
Public Law and Administration
Dr. Stephen Sussman
June 26, 2014
Federal Regulatory Agencies
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the principal Federal agency dedicated to fish and wildlife conservation. The Service’s history spans nearly 140 years, dating from the establishment of its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Fisheries, in 1871. First created as an independent agency, the Bureau of Fisheries was later placed in the Department of Commerce. A second predecessor agency, the Bureau of Biological Survey, was established in 1885 in the Department of Agriculture. In 1939, the two Bureaus and ...view middle of the document...
” The objective of the FWS is to assist in the development and application of an environmental stewardship ethic for our society, based on ecological principles, scientific knowledge of fish and wildlife, and a sense of moral responsibility. Guide the conservation, development, and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife resources, and administer a national program to provide the public opportunities to understand, appreciate, and wisely use fish and wildlife resources.
A few ways that the FWS tries to achieve these objectives is to enforce federal wildlife laws, protect endangered species, manage migratory birds, restore nationally significant fisheries, conserve and restore wildlife habitat such as wetlands, help foreign governments with their international conservation efforts, and distribute hundreds of millions of dollars, through our Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration program, in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.
The FWS manages the 150 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System of more than 551 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. Under the Fisheries program they also operate 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices and 86 ecological services field stations.
The vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-Federal lands. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Partners in Flight, Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and other partnership activities are the main ways they foster aquatic conservation and assist voluntary habitat conservation and restoration.
The Service employs approximately 9,000 people at facilities across the U.S. The Service is a decentralized organization with a headquarters office in Washington D.C., with regional and field offices across the country.
The FWS’s programs are among the oldest in the world dedicated to natural resource conservation. The history can be traced back to 1871 and the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries in the Department of Commerce and the Division of Economic Orinthology and Mammology in the Department of Agriculture.
A 1940 reorganization plan (54 Stat. 1232) in the Department of the Interior consolidated the Bureau of Fisheries and the Bureau of Biological Survey into one agency to be known as the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife was created as a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior on November 6, 1956, by the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (70 Stat. 1119). That act was amended on July 1, 1974, by Public Law 93-271 (88 Stat. 92) to, among other purposes, abolish the position of Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife and designate the Bureau as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Fish and Wildlife Sevice, 2014, p. 1).
The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs is responsible for all issues pertaining to wildlife resources, fisheries,...