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New Web site promotes recruitment and retention of hunters

Here is the Wildlife Management Institute’s announcement:

The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) announced the launch of a new Website dedicated to sustaining and enhancing North America’s hunting heritage.  The Website, www.huntingheritage.org, will serve as a clearinghouse for information, programs and contacts related to programs that advance safe and ethical recreational hunting.  The Website was premiered at the 74th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference last month in Arlington, Virginia.

The Website currently hosts the Recruitment and Retention Assessment Survey Report.  This report was designed and prepared by WMI in cooperation with D.J. Case & Associates.  It provides the most comprehensive assessment of current efforts by all 50 states and 19 conservation organizations to recruit and retain hunters nationwide.  In addition, the Website provides a real-time compilation of recruitment and retention program details.  State agencies and conservation organizations are encouraged to share their program details with colleagues from other agencies and organizations.  WMI and D.J. Case & Associates expect a summer release of a companion report about hunting-access programs for each of the state and federal resource and land management agencies.

The above efforts form a basis for the Hunting Heritage Action Plan (Action Plan).  The Action Plan was conceived by the Hunting Heritage Steering Committee.  It will entail assessment, analysis and strategies to enhance hunting by examining seven programmatic areas: the role that hunting and hunters in conservation; conservation education; hunter recruitment and retention; social and economic impacts of hunting; political and legal obstacles and opportunities; outreach; and a funding plan to address gaps in program coverage.

The Action Plan was modeled after the successful North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), which was developed to counter declining waterfowl numbers.  Just as NAWMP became a rallying mechanism for wetland and waterfowl enthusiasts in the mid-1980s, the Action Plan will provide comprehensive information for the determination of national strategies, objectives and priorities to counter declining hunter numbers.  Individuals, agencies, organizations and industry are encouraged to provide support for this important effort.The Website and Action Plan were partially funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program and the Wildlife Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The launch of www.huntingheritage.org provides the information system that will drive future efforts to sustain our hunting heritage,” remarked WMI President Steve Williams.  “WMI would like to thank the federal and state agency and conservation organization contacts who helped compile this critical information.   Thanks also are due Bob Byrne, Jon Marshall and other D.J. Case & Associates staff who developed the informative Website. The success of efforts to advance hunting through effective hunter recruitment and retention requires comprehensive and accurate baseline information.   WMI encourages agencies, organizations and individuals to update and utilize the Website.”

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