EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The number of sportsmen and women in the U.S. has been declining since the 1980s. As they diminish, so does funding and support for wildlife conservation. The National Wild Turkey Federation has proudly joined forces with the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports and the Wildlife Management Institute to strengthen national efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and target shooters.
The national partnership of more than 33 non-profit and conservation groups, firearms and archery industry leaders and state fish and wildlife agencies has pulled together a coalition of experts who have been working for the past year to draft a comprehensive action plan that outlines the critically needed strategies and tools to create more hunters and shooting sports participants.
“The completion of this action plan signifies a monumental achievement and is a real game changer for our sporting community,” said Dan Forster, director for the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division. “The Council’s innovative approach to address a national problem will now serve as a catalyzing agent for conservation partners to develop strategic approaches for addressing localized challenges.”
This plan to recruit, retain and reactivate, abbreviated to R3, is designed to re-energize past shooters and hunters, bring more non-traditional audiences into the fold, and ensures that conservation organizations are maximizing the impact of their R3 efforts.
“The majority of conservation funding in this country comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and self-imposed excise taxes on firearms and ammunition,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “It is critical that we bolster participation in hunting and shooting sports so future generations can have wild places and wildlife to enjoy.”
The first draft of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan was approved at the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports board meeting in November, and the plan website and final documents will be made public in the future.
For up to date information on the R3 plan, visit www.cahss.org
The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports was formed by leaders in the conservation community to take a fresh look at the business of recruiting and retaining hunters and shooters and to develop new and sustainable strategies and tactics to solicit, engage and support these groups so vital to conservation and America’s heritage. The National Hunting & Shooting Sports Action plan is funded through Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Multi-State Conservation Grant and partner donations.
About the NWTF
The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, improving more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year. The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history. To learn more, visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.