NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti last week gave a timely speech to the plenary session of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Conference in which he discussed challenges to hunting and cooperative efforts to overcome them, and also presented good news such as the nine percent increase in hunting participation from 2006 to 2011, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
We say “timely” because the speech was delivered just prior to the annual observance of National Hunting & Fishing Day this Saturday, September 22, which celebrates the contributions sportsmen and women make to conservation. Many of topics Sanetti touched on in his speech, such as introducing newcomers to outdoor activities and explaining the importance of hunting in our culture to youth and even non-hunters, are goals of NHF Day.
“We must all work together,” said Sanetti, “to teach the hunting ethos to non-participants, regardless of their intent to participate themselves, and especially to younger generations. As kids and adults stay indoors in every-increasing numbers, not only do they not enjoy wildlife-based recreation, they doom it to slow extinction. Many recruitment programs exist, and we must all resolve to support them with our time and resources.”
Given that hunters and target shooters pay for the bulk of conservation inAmerica, without purchases of hunting licenses, firearms and ammunition, conservation funding will dry up.
Sanetti’s speech noted the 75th anniversary year of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration initiative that began in 1937 with passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act. This legislation created the unique funding mechanism that has pumped more than $7 billion into wildlife restoration, hunter education and shooting and recreational shooting range construction.
A new NSSF video hosted by Sanetti points out the long-standing contributions of industry and hunters to Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration efforts. “The vast majority of conservation funds in this country don’t come from so-called environmental groups but instead come from the 10 or 11 percent contributions that all hunters and sport shooters make when purchasing firearms and ammunition.”
Learn more about hunting and conservation from NSSF by viewing the video and these resources:
Learn more about WSFR 75 at www.wsfr75.com.
View “The Unendangered Species” education video.
Read “The Hunter and Conservation” educational brochure.
Put the Hunter’s Pocket Fact Card in your pocket.