- “It is not what we have that will make us a great nation: it is the way in which we use it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
By Jason Houser
In my view, conservation can be broken down into three subcategories: Habitat, Wildlife, and Fish. Each plays a vital role in successful conservation practices.
Within the outdoor world, there is an organization for just about every outdoor activity, whether it is the National Trappers Association, Whitetails Unlimited, Quail Forever, Muskies Inc., Pope & Young Club, or any of the many other non-profit organizations on a national and state level.
Most of these organizations play a vital role in successful conservation practices by donating millions of dollars to improve habitat, wetlands, land management policies, wildlife restoration, youth education, and more.
Conservation efforts include many things, and each has its role. Whether it prescribes burning to help shape forests to be productive for wildlife, such phrases as “habitat days” remind everyone of the importance for habitat management, federal CRP and tree programs, fish stocking programs, elk reintroduction, creating wetlands, butterfly gardens, pollinator fields, improved fish habitat and much more.
Many, if not all, of the non-profit wildlife organizations, host multiple banquets throughout the year – nationally, regionally and locally. Money raised through such banquets goes towards conservation efforts earmarked as playing a vital role in continued successful conservation and wildlife efforts.
It is up to outdoorsmen and women to help sustain these efforts. Even though it is a group effort, it is up to each individual to get involved. Become members of these organizations and find out what you can do. It is not always about the money, but the time you can donate to help their efforts succeed, educating others, volunteering at banquets and events, and more.
Many of their websites provide great information on how you can help. Whether it is gathering Christmas trees after the holiday to introduce to ponds and lakes to create restorative habitat for fish, providing cover for ground-nesting birds, performing a prescribed burn, or one of the many other tasks they recommend, it’s just a click or phone call away.
These conservation programs reach every corner of the country. Each species of wildlife and fish and their respective home areas are affected by conservation practices. As outdoorsmen and women, we can do our part to see that conservation efforts continue, and they will make a positive difference for generations to come.
To help promote conservation efforts and sustain wildlife numbers, we MUST get more people involved. One exciting way to get this done is through the “R3” program. The R3 program is the hunting industry’s emphasis on recruiting, retaining and reactivating new hunters. It’s simply pointing out to existing hunters that it is up to us to preserve our sport, and if we each put a little effort into finding, encouraging, helping, and supporting both novice and non-active hunters, anglers, trappers and others, we can grow the sport we love.
Do you know someone you can help? Visit www.nationalr3plan.com for more resources.
“It is not what we have that will make us a great nation: it is the way in which we use it.” – Theodore Roosevelt