Giving Back… Sportsmen & Sportswomen Support Wildlife Conservation
Terry Nelson 12.17.20
How many years have you been hunting, fishing, or maybe just enjoyed being outdoors and observing wildlife? For me it has been a lifetime, as I suspect it has been for many folks reading this. Having grown up in a rural community and then worked as a state conservation officer I have seen firsthand the positive effects of sportsmen and sportswomen organizations dedicated to wildlife conservation and habitat management. Today, I believe these efforts are more critical than ever. As sportsmen and sportswomen we should all look for ways to give back that hopefully improve wildlife conservation and populations for generations to come. Knowing the threat wild places and its inhabitants are facing today, we must stay involved and find ways to support wildlife conservation measures where we can. Outlined below are just a few organizations that I have been personally involved with and firmly believe do good work when it comes to wildlife conservation efforts.
Founded in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved at least 12.5 million acres of waterfowl habitat in North America. DU partners with a wide range of corporations, governments, other non-governmental organizations, landowners, and private citizens to restore and manage areas that have been degraded and to prevent further degradation of existing wetlands. DU is also active in working with others to recommend government policies that will influence wetlands and the environment. DU generated more than $235 million in revenues during their 2012 fiscal year; a minimum of 80 percent of that revenue goes directly toward habitat conservation. Their sources of revenue include federal and state habitat reimbursements, conservation easements, sponsors, members, major gifts, donations, royalties, and advertisement.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Founded in 1984, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) is a conservation and pro-hunting organization, founded in the United States in 1984 by four hunters from Troy, Montana (Bob Munson, Bill Munson, Dan Bull and Charlie Decker). Its mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and American hunting heritage. Since 1984, the RMEF helped to conserve more than 6.7 million acres (26,700 km²) of habitat. RMEF also helped to restore long-absent elk populations, with herds being reestablished in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ontario, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin. RMEF strives to be a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management, and conservation policy issues.
Safari Club International
Founded in 1972, Safari Club International (SCI) is a US organization composed of hunters dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt. SCI has more than 50,000 members and 180 local chapters. SCI members agree to abide by the organization’s code of ethics, which includes making a positive contribution to wildlife and ecosystems, complying with game laws, and assisting game and fish officers. Much of SCI’s efforts take place not only within the US, but also internationally.
These are just a few of the many sportsmen’s organizations that I have personally worked with over the years and that give back to wildlife and the habitat necessary for all wild creatures to survive. Others like National Wild Turkey Foundation, Boone and Crockett Club, Trout Unlimited, Sportsman Alliance, Mule Deer Foundation, and many more are all dedicated to wildlife conservation efforts and the continued protection of lawful hunting and outdoor recreation. Give back and get involved with one or more of these conservation groups for yourself, wildlife, and the generations to come.