Bringing species back from the brink through sustainable management

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the overarching system for how wildlife is managed primarily within the United States and Canada.


in the late 1800’s due to the rapid decline of iconic species in North America such as bison, elk and deer, the leading sportsmen of the time banded together to prevent further extinctions, similar to what the ICF is working to accomplish with caribou.

The seven tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

1. Wildlife resources are a public trust

Wildlife belongs to the people and is managed in trust for the people by government agencies.

2. Science is the proper tool to discharge wildlife policy

The best science available is used as a base for informed decision making in sustainable wildlife management.

3.  Markets for game are eliminated

It is illegal to sell the meat of any wild animal in North America.


4. Allocation of wildlife is by law

Laws developed by the people and enforced by government agencies regulate the proper use of wildlife resources.

5. Democracy of hunting is standard

Every citizen has the freedom to hunt and fish.

6. Non-frivolous Use

Laws are in place to restrict casual killing, killing for commercial purposes, wasting of game, and mistreating wildlife.


7. Wildlife is considered an international resource

Because wildlife and fish freely migrate across boundaries between states, provinces, and countries they are considered an international resource.

Through the sustainable practices outlined in this model, species like turkey, whitetail deer and woodland duck populations have rebounded to historic numbers, and species with large ranges such as American black bearselk, and cougars have expanded their ranges beyond their normal boundaries prior to the implementation of the act.

Tax on hunting and fishing gear pays between $177-$324 million every year

Hunters also recognized the need for a significant and sustainable source of funding for wildlife stewardship.  In 1937, Congress passed the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, which put an excise tax on the sale of all sporting arms and ammunition. This was followed in 1950 by the Dingell-Johnson Act, which placed a similar tax on fishing equipment.

Every purchase of hunting and fishing gear in the United States contributes to this fund. When funding from the excise tax is combined with the state license and tag sales sportsmen pay each year, it constitutes the majority of funding for wildlife conservation in North America.

ICF support of sustainable hunting practices

The International Caribou Foundation recognizes the significant social and financial contributions of the hunting community in the conservation challenge.


The impact of responsible hunters who work to educate the public on wildlife management, hold each other accountable for ethical hunting practices, support science-based management, and partner with outside organizations in pursuit of the common conservation goal is immeasurable.


The ICF is working to generate funding to develop a conservation vision plan that will provide our organization with the research to identify our high-priority initiatives and begin maximizing our impact on challenges facing caribou, including advocacy for sustainable hunting practices that are in line with our conservation goals.



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