Stephanie Hussey, State R3 Program Director, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
Dave Chanda, Vice President, Government and Industry Engagement, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation Ty Gray, Director, Arizona Game and Fish Department
America is changing demographically, attitudinally, and technologically, and the natural resources community is faced with determining how fishing and hunting can stay relevant in this changing society. Without an influx of new anglers and hunters over the next 20 years, license sales can be expected to decrease; more so than they already have.
Attracting new customers is no longer simply about providing abundant and healthy fish and wildlife resources. It will require a commitment of agency resources to attract and engage a new population of anglers and hunters. Without a significant commitment to recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3), state fish and wildlife agencies can expect a serious decline in angler and hunter participation. Building off of previous work in R3 strategy and evaluation (done by the Wildlife Management Institute, the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation), the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA)’s Task Force on Angler R3 provided five recommendations to enable state fish and wildlife agencies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their R3 efforts. Although the Task Force recognized that there is no “one size fits all” solution for state fish and wildlife agencies, they encouraged state directors to fully integrate R3 initiatives throughout their agencies and implement the recommendations where possible.
Recent research show that there are specific actions that state agencies can make to positively affect license sales and participation rates, even in states with declining participation. By determining which factors drive increases and decreases across states and then identifying those that can be influenced by state R3 efforts, agencies and their partners can improve R3 approaches and strategies resulting in greater license sales and participation.
This session will present recent R3 successes and insights as shared by a number of state fish and wildlife agency leaders. Attendees will be provided with innovative and applicable ideas that can help their organizations increase the effectiveness of their R3 efforts, and ultimately expand and increase the population of those enjoying the fish and wildlife resources of North America.