Auburn to grow its wildlife programs with prestigious Boone and Crockett Club Professorship

Auburn University will pursue the creation of a prestigious Boone and Crockett Club Professorship in support of its wildlife research and academic programs.

At the invitation of Auburn President Steven Leath, Tony Schoonen, chief of staff for the renowned wildlife conservation organization, presented a campus-wide seminar at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences on Sept. 28.

Schoonen’s talk, “Understanding Conservation: Responsible Commercial Use of Natural Resources,” explored the principles of wildlife conservation and the sustainable and ethical use of natural resources for commercial and recreational hunting purposes.

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The club’s standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship are the cornerstones of the country’s hunting regulations.

The Boone and Crockett Club championed the creation of landmark wildlife legislation, science and funding mechanisms for conservation, many federal agencies, national wildlife refuges and cooperative research units under the umbrella principle known today as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

In 1992, the Boone and Crockett Club began a campaign to expand the impact of their conservation programs by collaborating with select universities to establish endowed faculty positions that would assure science-based wildlife management and conservation principles continue to guide national policy and decision-making.

During the visit, Schoonen visited with Auburn administration, faculty and students, and learned about Auburn’s nationally recognized wildlife research and academic programs. Based on the stature of its programs and the potential for faculty support, the Boone and Crockett Club encouraged the school to pursue the creation of a Boone and Crockett Club Professorship at Auburn.

“Auburn is a leader in wildlife management and conservation education, and establishing a Boone and Crockett Professorship would help ensure our students are prepared to lead in this growing sector,” said Leath.

“By partnering with one of the world’s most renowned conservation organizations, Auburn could provide even more outstanding learning experiences for our students and open the door to tremendous economic opportunities for our state.”

Through research and collaboration, the Boone and Crockett Club Professorship will help drive policy to ensure landowners have healthy wildlife populations and resources for habitat enhancement and conservation of big game.

“Legislation that assures robust wildlife populations will result in higher land values, increased job opportunities within the state and the sustainability of our natural resources,” said Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

To learn more about the Boone and Crockett Club Professorship, contact Heather Crozier, director of the SFWS Office of Development, at 334-844-2791 or vannhea@auburn.edu.

Originally posted in SFWS 2017 Fall Newsletter.

(Written by Jamie Anderson)

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