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 Institute to establish a Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University.

AWF is the National Wildlife Federation
Affiliate of the Week

2014-15 Year in Review

During the past year we’ve continued with numerous varied activities and events, partnering with the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD), Forest Service, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Trout Unlimited, TRCP, WRAN, Audubon and many others.

AWF volunteers were on the job, meeting with Federal and State legislators providing information on national and state issues such as Responsible Energy Development, Clean Water Act restoration, and the proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.  In addition, this Spring AWF was once again invited to travel to DC in support of the Teaming with Wildlife program, partially funded through AZGFD.

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program, (BOW), sponsored by AWF, graduated over 300 women this past year.  Women from all walks of life enjoy the opportunities offered at our workshops to participate in a multitude of outdoor skills classes. In addition, we were honored to host the Annual BOW Coordinators Conference in February. A instructor campout was held where we recognized many of the tenured Instructors that make this activity so worthwhile.

AWF was at the AZGFD Expo at the end of March, talking to as many of the 40,000+ attendees as we could; handing out educational materials on conservation, outdoors ethics and responsibilities, the BOW Program, and wildlife & habitat concerns. 

In March, we participated in a day at the State legislature discussing the importance of water in our arid SW. Working with our very own Sarah Luna, we partnered with Arizona Audubon and the Western Rivers Action Network as well as Trout Unlimited.

In March, our NWF Representative Bob Vahle and VP Brad Powell traveled to the NWF Annual Meeting in West Virginia where we were able to assist in the adoption of many new NWF Resolutions that will have an impact on all of us.

Our strong relationships with the numerous State and Federal agencies are a must for working on critical issues. We participated in the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) on several of Arizona’s National Forests, provided scientifically based comments on Mexican Gray Wolf management plans, worked for protection of key waterways in various parts of the state and partnered with several other groups involved in potentially reclassifying critical public lands adjacent to Walnut Canyon National Monument.

Arizona Wildlife News, our quarterly magazine, is a sought after publication and we continued with more upgrades to it this year, including more in-depth coverage of critical issues as well as a new full color format. We continued with a new mode of communication, the AWF e-News Bulletin/Alert, providing updates for you between magazine issues and when we need to alert you to important issues that require your assistance. 

Our Board continued to grow this past year, adding four new members, Kellie, Trica, Loren and Thom, with each bringing a variety of skills and interests to our Board, strengthening our organization.

During the year we once again traveled to various Regions for our quarterly meetings, held this year in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Vermillion Cliffs. We had great attendance at all of these locations