NPAA & National Wildlife Federation Working to Impact Future Anglers
FORESTVILLE, Wis. – Two organizations known for their natural resources passion, the National Professional Anglers Association and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) recently linked forces. Wildlife Federation regional representative for the Great Lakes Jason Dinsmore said, “Among other things we will reach out to a whole generation of kids with no connection to the outdoors.”
The NPAA legacy is built around anglers who are respected for the significant number of youth fishing clinics conducted annually. Pat Neu, NPAA executive director said, “It’s not just kids, but we will leverage the passion and knowledge of both organizations to benefit and grow the sport of fishing.” Last year, a total of 107 NPAA members conducted 127 Future Angler Events, reaching 11,211 youngsters and 8,617 parents. “The Future Angler events our members are hosting are much more than ‘feel good’ events; they’re making a difference,” Neu said.
Dinsmore said plans include youth education, community involvement and natural resources heritage engagement in schools and at other special events. “Together, we will try to inspire the next generation of sportsmen, hunters and conservationists and expose them to the natural world,” he said. The NPAA has the trained youth instructors willing to volunteer their weekends and evenings to work with youngsters.
Also, as the National Wildlife Federation combines efforts with affiliate conservation and outdoor companies in all regions, the goal will be to expand the NPAA message to a much wider audience. Dinsmore said, “We also want to have the Federation on the minds of the NPAA members and capitalize on their status as opinion leaders and the passionate professionals they are. Together, we’ll work to inspire kids and their parents to take action to protect the natural resources and outdoor heritage we all hold dear”
Andy McDaniels is the Federation Sportsman Outreach Coordinator for Conservation Programs. He brings sportsmen and the industry to the same table. He said, “We are in partnership with 850 major companies in the fishing and waterfowl business and groups like DU, the American Sportfishing Association, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Isaak Walton League, BASS and many others in our Vanishing Paradise coalition. We are focused on funding habitat improvement projects. Our goal was coastal (Mississippi River delta) five years ago, but that mission has expanded. Working with the NPAA will be another way to reach the public and will be beneficial in creating future conservation leaders.”
At the January 2015 annual NPAA conference, Andy Buchsbaum, vice-president for Conservation Action for the National Wildlife Federation announced the formal partnership with the Future Anglers Foundation and the NPAA Future Angler events. In addition to the widely acclaimed Ranger Rick youth magazine, the NWF conducts habitat and other programs in 7,500 schools. “We are forming partnerships that direct kids and parents to go outside, fish, camp, hike, be active,” he said. “In my generation, kids were outside all the time, now the average is 30 minutes a day for kids to be outside, but they spend an average of seven hours of screen-time daily.”
The NWF is extremely active dealing with threats to water quality such as aquatic invasive species, wetland loss, addressing and attempting to reduce nutrient run-off, algal blooms, educational programs, clean water and more. The NWF has 4,000,000 members. Learn more at nwf.org.