SAF and Professional Societies Thank House Appropriators for Report Language

August 17, 2017

SAF, The Wildlife Society, and 11 other professional societies sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee thanking its leadership for including important language recognizing the importance of professional societies. 

The language can be found on page 7 of the Fiscal Year 2018 House Appropriations Bill for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: 

"The Committee recognizes that maintaining the professional competencies of the Federal workforce is necessary to assure sound scientific management principles are applied to resource management. Professional societies, such as the Society of American Foresters, the Society for Range Management, The Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, and others provide opportunities for employees to maintain professional competencies through continuing education, scientific journals, and interaction with other professionals. The Committee encourages the Federal agencies funded in this bill to support the participation of employees in such professional societies in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Government Ethics through 5 CFR Part 2640.203, Official Participation in Nonprofit Organizations."

The letter thanks the Committee for this recognition and highlights the many benefits active participation in professional societies provide.

"Increasing federal employee participation in professional societies of any discipline can substantially contribute to maximizing the efficiency and efficacy of an agency’s ability to serve the American people. Professional societies are committed to supporting their members throughout each stage of their career.These organizations offer opportunities for professional development—such as certification programs and leadership training—and ways to invest in the next generation.Professional societies can also be a driving force behind initiatives to promote a diverse, thriving workforce and engage all members of a profession." 

While the path forward for passing an appropriations bill is uncertain, inclusion of this language in the House bill marks a small but noteworthy victory for professional societies and their members.