New Education Campaign Launched Hot
NEW NATIONAL EDUCATION CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
TO ENCOURAGE RESPECT FOR PUBLIC LANDS
OGDEN, Utah (September 13, 2009) — Tread Lightly!, in partnership with the nation’s most influential hunting and shooting sports organizations, has released a series of six print public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging responsible behavior on public lands. The PSAs are part of a much larger new education and outreach campaign called "Respected Access is Open Access."
"Being respectful of public lands is the goal of the campaign," said Lori McCullough, executive director of the nonprofit Tread Lightly!. "Across America, access and opportunities are dwindling at a rate so serious it demands our immediate attention and action. Damage caused by a minority of recreationists who are either uninformed or uncaring of the consequences of their actions is contributing to the loss of access for everyone."
Tread Lightly! created the Respected Access campaign at the request of the Federal Lands Hunting and Shooting Sports Roundtable. Built on extensive research, the campaign is designed to reduce litter, property and natural resource damage, unsafe shooting practices and visitor conflicts as a means of helping to maintain, even enhance, access to public lands.
The Respected Access movement was initiated by the Roundtable, whose members include the Archery Trade Association, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Boone & Crocket Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Izaak Walton League of America, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pope & Young Club, Public Lands Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, Safari Club International and the Wildlife Management Institute, as well as the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and US Fish & Wildlife Service.
The campaign is currently being funded through grants from Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. through its OHV Access Initiative, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Safari Club International, Boone & Crocket Club, National Wild Turkey Federation, US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Overall, the Respected Access is Open Access campaign is an unprecedented effort that will include public service announcements, social networking, website resources, an online awareness course, trail kiosks, and outreach at key events.
The six PSAs initially released address littering, vandalism and illegal dumping. One goal for the campaign is to have the public service announcements printed in hunting, shooting sports and other outdoor-related magazines that believe in the cause. The PSAs are available for download by anyone wanting to utilize the campaign at www.respectedaccess.org.
"TheRespected Access campaign has been a true partnership of resources with national hunting and shooting sports organizations to promote responsible behaviors on public lands," said Jim Bedwell, Director of Recreation for the US Forest Service. "Responsible shooting is a legitimate use of public lands, as is a wide variety of other activities done responsibly, so the Respected Access campaign complements the efforts of land managers across the nation to manage sustainable recreation."
"A challenge to all hunting, shooting and wildlife conservation organizations is maintaining and growing America's hunting heritage," said Susan Recce, Chair of the Roundtable. "We recognize a critical component of this challenge is assuring that hunters and shooters have convenient access to public and private lands to pursue their passion. The Respected Access is Open Access campaign addresses a huge threat to hunting and shooting access on public lands."
"The BLM is proud to be a part of the Roundtable and partner with Tread Lightly! in this important campaign," said Bob Ratcliffe, Director of Recreation for the Bureau of Land Management. "Through collaborative outreach efforts like this, we increase our capacity in ensuring that this vital message is heard."
The group is seeking additional funding sources to achieve its education and outreach goals. More information about getting involved with the campaign can be found at www.respectedaccess.org.