The first major project of the AWF after its founding in 1923 was legislation to get politics out of wildlife management. They accomplished this by drafting a state game code which provided for a Commission/Department form of wildlife administration. It wasn't willingly accepted by the politicians of that day, including the governor, but was finally adopted by referendum in 1928.

Neither the governor nor his henchmen were willing to accept this accomplishment, and in 1930 tried to again take control of Game and Fish. With the help of its affiliate organizations the AWF managed to beat back this effort. Despite other attempts over the years, including the most recent effort some 15 years ago, we continue to have essentially the same type of administration as was established about 70 years ago.

In 1958, through efforts of the AWF, the game code was revised to its current form without altering the Commission/Department structure.

The AWF supported a revision of the state water code to specifically establish wildlife as a beneficial use of water. This made possible the development of many fishing lakes, especially on the Mogollon Rim.

The AWF supported a revision of the state water code to specifically establish wildlife as a beneficial use of water. This made possible the development of many fishing lakes, especially on the Mogollon Rim.

The AWF supported the introduction of pronghorn antelope to the Arizona Strip, the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and other historic pronghorn habitats. The introduction of the Merriam Turkey into suitable habitat, including the Kaibab Plateau, was also strongly backed by the AWF.

The AWF was also instrumental in the establishment of the federal Kofa Game Refuge for the protection and management of the desert bighorn, leading eventually to the opening of this magnificent big game species to limited hunting.

AWF members were also involved in the development of Arizona's buffalo herds and in the re-introduction of elk in this state.

Since the creation of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission the AWF has worked closely with the sitting governor in screening and endorsing qualified individuals as Commission members.

The AWF and the Arizona Cattle Growers Association established a Stockmen-Sportsmen Committee to address the problem of vandalism on the rangelands of the state.

The AWF worked closely with the Department and Commission, the University of Arizona and the Wildlife Management Institue to establish a Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University.

2013-2014 Year in Review

With the year wrapping up, it’s very appropriate that I provide a brief overview of many of the activities our all-volunteer Board has been working on this year. While certainly not all inclusive, it will give you a feel for how dedicated and engaged our Office manager, Board and other Officers are throughout the year.


  • Graduated 200+ women from the Becoming An Outdoor Woman Program - 3 annual workshops, August, January and April - recruitment and retention of women to outdoor recreational activities and conservation ethics
  • Presented an education and information booth at the Game and Fish Dept. Expo in March, attended by over 35,000 visitors.
  • Coordinated an information and education campaign for Federal representative candidates and incumbents on issues important to the sportsman community in Arizona
  • Had seated representatives serving on the AZ. Game and Fish Dept. Landowner-Lessee/Sportsman Access Committees and several local AZ. Game and Fish Dept. Habitat Partnership Committees.
  • Published Arizona Wildlife News magazines in July, November, February and June with distribution of over 2500 per issue, highlighting conservation and habitat issues.
  • Published periodic ENews/alerts to expand outreach and reinforce conservation and habitat issues and to access statewide networks on these issues
  • The AWF continued active membership the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) as a stakeholder and attended various meetings and field trips regarding this important forest health program
  • The AWF continued with the new Watchable Wildlife program in northern Arizona to increase awareness of wildlife and wildlife habitat in that area. Partnering with the USFS, AZG&FD, Coconino County and the City of Flagstaff we’ve identified 30 sites with viewing opportunities. This is a multi year project reinforcing our mission to “educate and inspire” individuals regarding the importance of conservation of natural resources.
  • Active participation by Regional Directors of the AWF is ongoing on a variety of projects and issues such as wind & solar energy development, forest thinning projects, the Hwy 180 fence realignment in antelope country north west of Flagstaff, Upper Verde River Wild & Scenic designation, Fossil Creek Management Plan, project work in S. AZ on important grasslands restoration projects.
  • Maintained an active role in discussions and recommendations on the Mexican Grey Wolf Reintroduction program
  • Met with Arizona Congressional representatives on numerous occasions both locally and in D.C. to discuss important issues including alternative energy development, the uranium moratorium near the Grand Canyon and numerous other topics


In closing, I’m very proud of the work we do and the commitment level of our staff. This year marks our 91st Anniversary as an organization that has been and continues to be a major participant in protecting and conserving wildlife and wildlife habitat in Arizona.