U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Receives NWTF's Prestigious Hunting Heritage Award
Photo available upon request.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This year's winner of the National Wild Turkey Federation's prestigious Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award is best described as the hunting industry's watchdog. The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance was created to protect hunting as a way of life for millions of Americans.
The USSA received the award at the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville Feb. 19.
MidwayUSA was the official convention sponsor.
"The USSA was founded to protect our outdoor heritage for future generations," said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO. "Throughout our history, we've fought attacks from animal rights groups and others who want to destroy our way of life. Our successes are not possible without leadership and support from the National Wild Turkey Federation. It is an honor to be recognized for our successes by this great organization that is just as dedicated as we are to the future of hunting, fishing and trapping."
The USSA, formerly called The Wildlife Legislative Fund of America, was born after its founders mounted a mass media campaign that defeated, by a 2-1 vote margin, a proposed 1977 Ohio constitutional amendment that would have banned all trapping in the state. It raised a $1 million war chest to educate Ohio voters on the truth about trapping's role in conservation.
Never before had a formal group made its mission the defense of hunting, fishing and trapping against animal rights organizations. In 2003, the organization officially changed its name to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance to better define to the national sportsmen community that the group was there to fight for their rights.
"For more than 30 years, the USSA has led the way in opposing -- and defeating -- the anti-hunting movement's agenda on Capital Hill and in courtrooms across the country," said NWTF CEO George Thornton. "They've demonstrated to American voters time and again that hunting is an effective conservation tool and part of our country's heritage. The NWTF is proud to recognize their efforts."
The most dynamic partnership between the NWTF and USSA is the Families Afield program. Formed by the two groups, along with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the effort helps states create hunting opportunities for youth. Since 2004, Families Afield has helped bring positive legislative changes to 30 states, opening up hunting to more than 500,000 young people and mentored adults who otherwise wouldn't have been able to participate.
The Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award's namesake was a former president and chairperson of the NWTF's national board. During her tenure, she emphasized the importance of our hunting heritage. Her leadership forged a new outlook for the organization, paving the way for its outreach efforts. Today, the NWTF's mission to celebrate and preserve North America's hunting heritage is some of its most important work.
2011 Convention Sponsors
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation