The wildlife conservation institution (Institution) needs to reform to maintain legitimacy and relevancy in the 21st century. Institutional reform is inherently slow. Limitations resulting from historical and resource dependencies between state wildlife agencies and hunters have left the Institution poorly positioned to meet changing ecological and social complexities. In this paper, we suggest that an ideal Institution would have the following 4 components: broad-based funding, trustee-based governance, multidisciplinary science as the basis of recommendations from professional staff, and involvement of diverse stakeholders and partners. Our suggestions reflect the fundamental tenets of the Public Trust Doctrine, which we believe is the foundation of the Institution. In bringing forth these ideas, we hope to encourage discussion about how the Institution should reform to meet the changing needs of society.
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Vol. 74 • No. 2