The role of fish and wildlife management agencies, and particularly the science of instream flows, has evolved considerably over the past 20 years and continues to evolve rapidly today. By virtue of its members’ expertise and involvement, the IFC is at the forefront of today’s issues and challenges concerning the implementation of instream flows. The IFC does not provide a strict mandate to which member agencies must adhere; rather, the organization functions only at the request of its members (and their associated commissions and directors) in meeting current and future challenges, and grasping new opportunities to become more effective at achieving their respective objectives. Some of the assistance available to member agencies includes:
- Assistance in the Development of Proactive Stewardship Strategies
- Networking and Technical Assistance
- Agency Support / Conflict Resolution
- Program or Project Review and Evaluation
IFC membership is currently open to state (U.S.) and provincial/territorial (Canada) fish and wildlife management agencies whose work involves instream flow responsibilities. Forms of membership include:
i) Governing Council
These members are the designated representatives for their state/province/territory. They represent the interests of their respective agency and participate as a voting member for conducting the official business of the Instream Flow Council. Representatives are those individuals who are most qualified in the technical or administrative aspects of instream flow for each agency. Member representatives are in a position that is routinely involved in coordination and/or application of instream flow assessments and must be presently employed by the member agency.
ii) General Council
Includes four categories of membership:
- Emeritus for previous staff of Governing Council members;
- Employees of state, provincial and territorial agencies eligible for governing council membership; and
- Employees of state, provincial, and territorial agencies that share, with the Governing Council agency, that jurisdiction’s Public Trust or instream flow stewardship responsibility for fish and wildlife.
Emeritus and honorary members must be nominated by three governing council members and approved by the Executive Committee. A category (4) agency employee must be invited by the Governing Council member from that same state, province, or territory. Membership in Categories 1 (emeritus), 3 (resource agency staff) and 4 (shared jurisdiction agency staff) is subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and payment of applicable dues. Category 4 membership must be approved by the Executive Committee annually. Honorary members are those who have provided exemplary service to IFC (as determined by the Executive Committee) and are exempt from dues payments.
US and Canadian state, provincial, and territorial fish and wildlife agencies that are not currently IFC members can learn more about the benefits and services associated with IFC membership by contacting any Executive Committee members or the Governing Council representative for their state/province/territory.