As outdoor enthusiasts, it’s important to recognize that conservation efforts are a vital part of helping wildlife and keeping our sport alive. How many ideas on the list below can you check off? Maybe it’s time for you to up your conservation game!
1. Be a Good Steward of the Land
Practice good outdoor ethics on every hunt. Adopt strategies like the Leave No Trace model. Pick up shell casings and trash. A healthy habitat means healthier wildlife. Always remember, pack it in and pack it out!
2. Support Public Land Initiatives
Public land provides equal opportunity for all outdoors men and women. Support organizations like Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership or Back-country Hunters and Anglers that work to keep public lands accessible, protect their wildlife, and preserve natural resources.
3. Join Conservation Organizations
Find an organization that you’re passionate about and join their efforts! Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and Sage Grouse Initiative are just a few. Membership fees frequently help support land management, population efforts and research for wild game species.
Inspire others! Whether you’re mentoring an adult or encouraging the next generation, helping others appreciate the outdoors is vital to keeping conservation efforts alive. Many state organizations and non-profits have mentored hunt programs that you can become involved with.
Check local organizations for volunteer opportunities. Help with habitat development, tagging wildlife for research or pick up trash in your local watershed. Funding for these projects can be limited, and organizations rely heavily on volunteers.
6. If You Build it, They Will Come
Have land of your own? Work with state or federal agencies to build optimal habitat for wildlife. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can provide financial support for farmers by removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production, which in turn can create suitable wildlife habitat.
7. Make Your Voice Heard
Become an activist for wildlife and habitat. Pay attention to budget cuts and land development that challenge and impede on public grounds. Educate others on why hunters and anglers earn the right to call themselves conservationists.
8. Support Companies that Give Back
Research companies that are committed to making a difference. Founding members Sitka, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wild Sheep Foundation spearheaded 2% for conservation, a movement that encourages businesses to give 1% of their time and 1% of their sales to conservation initiatives.
Don’t have the time to be directly involved? Donate! Visit any organization’s website to learn where and how your dollars are being spent, giving you the opportunity to make the biggest bang for your buck!
10. Make it Your Career
Still want to do more? Make conservation a career! There are college majors available in fisheries and wildlife, forestry, and environmental science to name a few. Check federal and state positions with wildlife research or education. Get paid to make a difference!
Conservation should be a part of every outdoors men and women’s efforts. If we want to continue to enjoy wildlife, we need to take an active approach to ensuring their future.
“In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” – Theodore Roosevelt
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