Who We Are
An independent voice for Arkansas wildlife for over 86 years.
Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) is an independent, non-governmental, statewide organization dedicated to the future of Arkansas wildlife. AWF is led by a chief executive officer and a statewide board of directors who represent the diverse regions, communities, and voices from around our state. They contribute their time, skills, and expertise to advance the mission of the organization. We are committed to collaboration, transparency, and common sense wildlife-centered solutions that conserve and protect all species found in the Natural State.
AWF is the independent state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, the country’s largest conservation organization. Partnering with NWF connects AWF to national issues and elevates conservation actions in Arkansas.
In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, unregulated hunting and market hunting led to the extinction, near extinction, and extirpation of many species native to Arkansas, including deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, and wild turkey.
In 1936, Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) was formed “for the conservation of wildlife and the benefit thereof to the citizens of Arkansas.” The organization was formally incorporated in 1944, the same year as the National Wildlife Federation of which it is the independent state affiliate.
In 1944, AWF led the way for the passage of Amendment 35, creating an autonomous statewide wildlife agency. Amendment 35 gave the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which was created in 1915, autonomy from the state legislature and enabled wildlife regulations to be enforceable on a statewide basis. It also gave wildlife officers full police authority to issue citations and make arrests.
In June of 1946, to engage its growing membership, as well as media, government officials, and partners in its efforts, the AWF began publishing the bimonthly Arkansas Out of Doors newspaper. The newspaper evolved into a magazine that is still published today.
Over its 86+ year history, AWF has worked to protect Arkansas wildlife through such efforts as supporting the establishment of National Wildlife Refuges in the state, preventing the damming of the Buffalo River (the nation’s first designated national river), passing the 1/8th-Cent Conservation Sales Tax, reducing clear-cutting in Arkansas forests, regulating the draining and mining of creeks and rivers, encouraging wildlife-friendly agricultural practices, and engaging lawmakers toward the passage of important legislation that helps protect our wildlife heritage.
We Need Your Help
Your tax-deductible gift will help AWF’s efforts to promote the conservation of Arkansas’ wildlife and related natural resources.