Educating the public on the benefits sportsmen and women provide for conservation is one of the best ways to safeguard hunting, angling, and trapping opportunities for the future. These activities keep public fish and wildlife populations healthy, facilitate habitat management and conservation, generate revenue for public agencies and private businesses, and provide outdoor recreational opportunities.
State wildlife councils offer sportsmen and women the opportunity to educate the public, including state government personnel, about these benefits through media-based information and outreach programs. In 1998, the Colorado Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council (WMPEAC), created Colorado’s “Hug a Hunter” and “Hug an Angler” campaigns and have proven very successful in conveying effective conservation messages.
Colorado sportsmen and women pay a small surcharge on hunting and fishing license purchases to develop a media-based program that educates the public on their important role in fish and wildlife management.
Collected revenues from Colorado’s “Hug a Hunter” campaign go to the protection and reintroduction of native species, including the lynx and greater sage grouse. Additionally, this campaign helps finance the identification and protection of species that are deemed “of special concern, threatened or endangered,” while also educating the public that hunting is necessary in maintaining healthy and diverse populations.
SCI Foundation believes that educating the public about the benefits of wildlife, wildlife management, and wildlife-related recreational opportunities is vital to continuing the traditions of the outdoors. This is reflected in the SCI Foundation Education Sables. Since its founding in 1984, the Education Sables has evolved into a group of women and men dedicated to supporting outdoor education programs that promote conservation and the positive role of hunting.
The Education Sables supports local outdoor education programs that help increase the number of youth in outdoor activities. They also have programs that provide college scholarships for students majoring in wildlife science and related fields of study. These activities support the future of conservation by fostering the next generation of biologists and hunters.
Informing the public about the positive role sportsmen and women play in conservation showcases the necessity of hunting and fishing while promoting the need for effective wildlife management. SCI Foundation is proud of the Education Sables hopes their work will ensure the ability for future generations to be more involved in wildlife conservation.