The word conservation prompts visions of sweat-equity projects involving shovels, saws and leather gloves. Your age, abilities and even ambition could factor into you not joining in for a hands-on conservation project, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a conservationist. Consider these four ways to help conservation without getting blisters.
Be a Joiner
If you’re reading this article and not a member of the NWTF, you’re missing out on an excellent way to participate in conservation without manual labor. Your membership aids in conservation programs, conservation education, preservation and hunting recruitment, which leads to additional conservation dollars. For every dollar the NWTF receives, more than 85 cents go to conservation work to improve wild turkey habitat, which also benefits many other wildlife species, or programs that introduce newcomers to the hunting lifestyle.
The NWTF does not stand alone. Your membership in multiple organizations beyond the NWTF ensures conservation initiatives across the nation. Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation and local groups are all excellent opportunities to join for a conservation impact.
Spend with Conservation-Oriented Companies
After you join one or more conservation organizations, such as the NWTF, visit their website. Your goal is to research the companies they team with to support conservation. You undoubtedly have an opinion of major corporations and their political leanings. Those opinions have likely led you to spend or not with those entities. Conservation organizations do their homework and team with like-minded companies that believe in conservation.
You’ll see prominent sporting goods outlets, ammunition manufacturers, firearm companies, hunting gear businesses and other establishments forming partnerships with major organizations focused on conservation. They understand that conservation is funded through hunting license sales and hunting expenses taxed via the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. This revenue directly underwrites wildlife conservation that affects all wildlife whether hunted or not.
Mentor New Hunters with a Conservation Focus
More than 80% of today’s population resides in cities. Another 35% or more are categorized as “single parent.” It doesn’t take much imagination to worry about the recruitment of new hunters into ranks. Without those hunters, conservation will be shackled. Refer to the Pittman-Robertson Act outlined prior. It can’t pay for conservation without hunters.
You can help recruit new hunters by being a mentor. Most states now have mentorship hunting programs to team you with an interested party. You can also go it alone if you know of someone interested in the sport that just needs some experienced inspiration.
To make your efforts even more meaningful for conservation, inject and interweave a message of how hunting helps conservation. It pays the bills. It aids in managing wildlife populations, and it is a way for people to connect and care for wildlife more. It is up to you to make new hunters for the future of conservation.
Attend a Conservation Organization Event… And Spend!
A final way to avoid shovel duty is to attend national and local conservation organization events. Your entrance or banquet ticket, plus dollars you spend on auctions or raffles, goes to fund conservation projects. Money is oftentimes distributed between the local and national affiliate, but the majority is again earmarked for conservation.
There you have it. You may not have farming or contracting DNA in your blood, but there are ways you can influence conservation without getting dirty.