The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is among the major backers behind an ambitious initiative that aims to give protected status to 30% of the world’s lands and waters by the year 2010.
The 30×30 Initiative is backed by other organisations including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society, the Center for Sportfishing Policy and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “America’s 50 million recreational fishermen not only have a significant economic impact of $125 billion annually, but also contributes substantially to conservation through excise taxes, fishing licence purchases and direct donations,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes.
“Continued access to our nation’s fisheries is critical for maintaining and building our stewardship of these resources. Recreational fishing is entirely compatible with conservation targets like the 30×30 Initiative.”
Gene Gilliland, Conservation Director for the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, said: “Hunters and anglers, whose licence dollars, excise taxes and fees support the conservation of our country’s fish and wildlife resources and habitats they depend on, have a strong desire to pass on the sporting legacy for future generations. We support policies that protect important terrestrial and aquatic habitats and the diverse array of plants and animals that make up the ecosystems. But maintaining responsible access to those lands and waters is vital to ensuring continued appreciation and support among sportsmen and women.”
Support has also come from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Its President, Jeff Crane, commented: “In addition to the $3 billion that anglers, hunters and shooters contributed directly last year, sportsmen and women continue to lead on conservation in the United States and around the world. From permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund to leading the charge for non-game Species of Greatest Conservation Need through Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, we are advocating policies that support biodiversity. Collectively, we are an asset for fish, wildlife and habitat and we will continue to ensure this remains the case as elected officials consider ambitious goals in conservation space.”
Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership added: “Hunters and anglers are asking for a thoughtful approach to safeguarding our nation’s lands and waters. In order to find common ground and achieve lasting results, complex management issues need to be resolved with input from a diverse set of stakeholders. We want a conservation roadmap that ensure biodiversity so the next generation can enjoy the outdoors.”
For details of the 30×30 Inititive click here