Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, two new states have been added to the award-winning Hunting Works for America (HWFA) program. The two new HWFA state chapters are Iowa and Missouri and are welcome additions to the existing state chapters in Arizona, Minnesota and North Dakota.
Hunting Works for Iowa launched in Des Moines on April 25 with a broad group of local and regional leaders representing Iowa chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus, sporting organizations, small businesses and retailers by holding a press conference in the State Capitol. The media event was led by Hunting Works for Iowa co-chairs Jim Henter, president, Iowa Retail Federation; Libbey Patton, tourism director, Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce; and small businessman Steve Ries, owner of Top Gun Kennels. The event also received support from the Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Just one week later, the Hunting Works for Missouri chapter launched its efforts by holding press conferences in Springfield and Kansas City on May 1 and 2. The May 1 media event was held at Hunting Works for Missouri partner Bass Pro Shops’ world headquarters in Springfield, and the May 2 event was held at HWFMO partner Rogers Sporting Goods in the Kansas City suburb of Liberty. Speakers for the events included Hunting Works for Missouri co-chairs Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Shannon Peisert, general manager of Rogers Sporting Goods; Brandon Butler, publisher of Driftwood Outdoors; Martin MacDonald, director of conservation at Bass Pro Shops; Cecil Huff, owner of Bucks and Spurs Ranch; Sam Ringenberg, Polaris brand manager at Clear Creek Vehicles; and Springfield City Councilman Jeff Seifried, regional development manager at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Hunting Works for America is an initiative that was developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2010 to forge an alliance between sporting organizations and the many businesses and workers whose livelihood depends on hunting to survive.
We started this program to help connect the dots on the economics behind hunting. Many people simply don’t understand the food chain, hunter dollars spent on tags and licenses fund conservation efforts and the Pittman Robertson dollars, an 11 percent excise tax on hunting equipment is used to conserve and restore habitat which benefits game and non-game species of wildlife as well as anyone who loves the outdoors. And it’s not just P-R dollars, hunters contribute locally and their spending at convenience stores, roadside diners, sporting good, hotels, hardware and clothing stores has an absolutely astounding ripple effect on local economies and jobs acrossAmerica. The grassroots organization Hunting Works forAmericawill work hard get this message out.
Local businesses, organizations and individuals have applauded the program and its introduction to their states. InMissouri, “The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is excited to be a part of Hunting Works forMissouri. The Chamber’s mission is to protect and advance business and, make no mistake, hunting contributes a lot to the advancement of so many businesses in Missouri,” said Dan Mehan, Hunting Works For Missouri co-chairman and president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Hunting has become an economic engine to our state and local economies. We’re glad that this group has formed to highlight the positive impact hunting plays here in Missouri.”
In Iowa, “Gov. Branstad and I are both excited to see a group like Hunting Works forIowacome together. Every industry that helpsIowagrow and prosper is important to us, and make no mistake that includes hunting,” said Lt. Governor Reynolds. “The economic benefit that hunting brings to our state is far too important to be overlooked, and we are pleased that this group has been formed to highlight the economic engine that hunting has become to our local and state economies.”
Hunting Works for America state chapters now have more than 500 member partners that will monitor public-policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact their respective local economies, including issues impacting jobs derived from the sport. Hunting Works forAmericachapters will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public-policy dialogue and to tell the story of how America’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation, jobs and the economy across the United States.
Becoming a member is absolutely free of charge, so please visit www.huntingworksforaz.com, www.huntingworksformn.com, www.huntingworksfornd.com, www.huntingworksforia.com and www.huntingworksformo.com to learn more about how to become a partner and each state’s program, including leadership, members, social-media opportunities and local hunting seasons.
We’d like to offer a special thanks to each NSSF member who has helped launch all five HWFA State Programs and the hundreds of nontraditional hunting allies who have already joined this grassroots program. Look for a Hunting Works state chapter coming soon to state near you.