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US Fish & Wildlife Service Recognized at the Sheep Show®

January 29, 2024

At this past Sheep Show®, the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) presented its Federal Statesman Award to the US Fish & Wildlife Service International Affairs Division for the Service’s progress toward clearing the backlog of wildlife import permits. Deputy Assistant Director Don Morgan accepted the award on behalf of the Service.

“WSF facilitates import permits by assisting and supporting other countries’ conservation programs and reporting to the Service,” said Gray N. Thornton, president and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “We’re pleased that Deputy Assistant Director Morgan and two of his senior biologists could join us in Reno, learn more about our commitments to sustainable use, engage with our membership, and accept this award.”

The Service must review all permit applications to import or export animals, plants, and biological samples. Each permit application must demonstrate how its approval will benefit conservation and comply with federal laws. Additional information must come from the foreign countries involved to demonstrate benefits to the species and local communities, and proper sourcing and handling of the specimens involved. The Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species are among the federal laws governing these transactions.

In 2023, the Service made concerted efforts and real progress in accelerating the review of the 30,000 permits considered annually, resulting in positive decisions on permits that have languished for years.

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WSF World Headquarters | 412 Pronghorn Trail | Bozeman, MT 59718 USA | Phone: 406.404.8750 (800-OK-FNAWS) | Email:

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