Author: Cassie Gasaway
The ATA’s new Conservation Initiative strives to boost hunting participation nationwide by teaching archers and nonhunters their role in conservation, and detailing how hunters contribute generously to wildlife-management programs.
The Initiative shares activities, resources and information with educators, state-agency staff, tournament directors, conservation officers and other ATA partners to explain how archers and bowhunters improve land access, wildlife management, and habitat-restoration programs. The ATA hopes these efforts encourage archers to buy more gear, try next-step opportunities, and introduce friends and family to bows and arrows.
S3DA seeks to connect youth archers with bowhunting. Photo credit: S3DA
This effort to help the nation’s educators grew from talks with S3DA staff. The S3DA’s mission is to foster, educate and guide youths in archery through 3D, indoor and outdoor target shooting. S3DA staff strive to introduce youths to bowhunting, bowfishing and other next-step opportunities.
Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s senior director of outreach and education, said many consumers don’t understand their role in conservation. They also don’t realize buying archery equipment or hunting licenses helps state agencies manage wildlife and wild places. She hopes the programs encourage participants to get more involved in archery and efforts that protect and preserve the nation’s natural resources.
“Tournaments and other archery events have lots of downtime,” Mazur said. “We’re missing opportunities to teach people about hunting’s role in conservation. We must also recruit and invite them to try bowhunting.”
Bowhunters help restore habitat, train hunters, study wildlife, improve public access, and fund conservation projects by buying licenses and paying federal excise taxes on archery gear through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. Bowhunters also help manage native wildlife populations and remove invasive species like feral hogs and Asian carp. That’s why bowhunters are extremely important in protecting and managing our nation’s public lands and wildlife heritage. The more people who hunt, the more financial contributions they make to hunting, shooting and wildlife-associated recreation.
Mazur said industry members must seize opportunities to discuss hunting’s role in conservation. To help, Mazur and her team create, compile and add conservation materials to the ATA’s resource library. The Institute of Education Sciences defines conservation education as the study of man’s “intelligent use of his natural environment through the development, management, preservation, and renewal of natural resources for his material, cultural, and aesthetic needs to benefit present and future generations.”
Closer to home, conservation education explains how humans use skills and knowledge to improve the nation’s natural resources. To help, ATA staff are choosing videos, activities and documents that show how archers and bowhunters help and affect the natural world. The resources should be ready by Aug. 1.
The ATA also created a quarterly Conservation Newsletter to share news and R3 advocacy efforts with members. The newsletter highlights R3 videos, articles and podcasts featuring the ATA’s conservation efforts on behalf of the industry and its members. Enter your email address in the space provided at the bottom of this page (or on any page on the ArcheryTrade.org website) to ensure you receive this newsletter and other ATA communications.
For more information about the Conservation Initiative and how to use these resources, contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s manager of range and retail programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 266-2776, ext. 116.