USA’s Conservation Focus
Educate. Conserve. Volunteer.
In an age of computers, cell phone, video games and other devices, today’s youth are losing their connection to the outdoors and America’s hunting and fishing heritage. While part of that is due to technological advancements, dwindling public access has also played a significant role.
A few decades ago, it wasn’t hard to gain access to private land for hunting and fishing. Sadly, much of that land has been transformed into subdivisions, highways, factory farms and shopping centers, and private landowners have become more protective of their remaining parcels.
Studies show that loss of access is the number one problem facing hunting. And the impact of that loss trickles down from adults to youth. Active participation in hunting and fishing as an adult is directly related to active participation as a youth. When adults give up the sports due to lack of access, they’re much less likely to pass those traditions on to their children.
Some people question why the declining number of hunters and anglers is a big deal. What they may not realize is that, through a 10-12 percent excise tax, hunters and anglers generate billions of dollars toward fish and wildlife habitat. With no alternative funding system for conservation in place, the loss of hunting and fishing in America would be devastating to maintaining habitat critical for healthy fish and game.
The future of hunting and fishing in the U.S. depends upon the commitment of future generations to these traditional fish and wildlife activities. And with more than six million AFL-CIO union sportsmen and sportswomen across North America, we believe there’s no better group to unite for the cause.
That’s why we, union sportsmen and women of the USA, have focused our conservation efforts into three key areas:
- Educate future generations of sportsmen and women
- Conserve healthy fish and wildlife habitat
- Volunteer time and skills to projects that improve access to quality places to hunt, fish and shoot
Together, we will confront the challenges facing our outdoor sporting heritage and reconnect future generations with the age old pastimes of hunting and fishing.
Through USA’s Work Boots on the Ground program, union sporstmen and women volunteer their time and diverse skills to conservation projects that improve and enhance public access, wildlife habitat and outdoor experiences for communities across America.
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In June 2012, retired Local 361 Ironworker, USA member and 9/11 volunteer John Sferazo was honored as a Field & Stream Conservation Hero.