The Invasive Species Threat to
Hunting and Fishing in America
Partnership Bringing Hunters and Anglers Into the
Battle Against Terrestrial and Aquatic Invasive Species
America’s hunters and anglers represent an essential stakeholder group in combating invasive species. Hunters and anglers number over 50 million individuals and spend a substantial portion of their recreational time outdoors in pursuits that involve them directly with fish and game populations and their habitats.
The majority of hunters and anglers spend time in the field and on the water in rural areas and regions of the nation where invasive species have some of the greatest negative impacts. All outdoor recreation enthusiasts, particularly hunters and anglers, are bearing the brunt of those negative impacts but also have a history of collaborating effectively to conserve America’s outdoor heritage.
Healthy ecosystems and the need for laws and regulations are understood by hunters and anglers who, as a group have well over a century of experience with organized societal and political approaches to the outdoors. Hunters and anglers have personal habits and methods of conduct while afield that perpetuate both the conservation of wildlife and natural resources and the passing down of those modes of conduct to future generations. These behaviors are a core part of who they are. Adding the conscious fight against invasive species is an achievable goal, and linking species management principles into the hunting and angling conservation ethic is critical.
The Forest Service is working with Wildlife Forever, and others to reach the hunting and angling community about the invasive species issue. Wildlife Forever is the national non-profit conservation arm of the North American Hunting Club and North American Fishing Club whose combined members total 1.3 million sportsmen and women. Wildlife Forever is able to focus on multi-species - aquatic and terrestrial – projects and with conservation education as a primary mission orientation.
Outreach projects between the U.S. Forest Service and Wildlife Forever are underway, first to educate the hunting and fishing community, then enlist their combined effort to report invasive species, prevent the spread, and help in the eradication of these insidious invaders of fish and wildlife habitat.
Recent Members of the Partnership
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- National Wild Turkey Federation
- Center for Invasive Plant Management