National Fish & Wildlife Conservation Congress

Strengthening and Expanding, Support, Interest and Participation in Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Question 1. Is there anything that you would change about your vision?

Original Vision:

Public education and awareness are enhanced by engaging governments, First Nations, industry, private and public sectors, other stakeholders and the media to create, fund and promote initiatives that foster participation in fishing, hunting and other wildlife-related activities now and into the future.

Revised Vision:

Expanded support for fish and wildlife conservation through public education and initiatives that foster participation in fishing, hunting and other outdoor-related activities.

Question 2: What is preventing your vision from being achieved?

  • Funding
    • Insufficient time and funds for encouraging and ensuring participation
    • Have not explored all possible funding sources in the Canadian and U.S. systems
  • Education
    • Lack of education/exposure and fewer people living in rural areas
    • New Canadians may not be exposed to hunting and fishing
    • Need better access and programs to create broader participation
    • "Nature Deficit Disorder" - include hunter heritage
  • Collaboration
    • Media not engaged
    • We are not asking our client-base what they want
  • Planning
    • Weak vision statement
    • Best way to save wildlife is protection before they become threatened
    • We are not being as proactive as we could be
    • Need a common goal, vision and messaging
    • Access to outdoors particularly in an urban setting
  • Policy
  • Other
    • Need credibility - data, science, facts
    • Shorter attention spans
    • Changes in priorities and time

Question 3: What are the opportunities for achieving your vision? Brainstorm a list of recommendations?

  • Funding
    • Create new funding mechanisms and find new funding sources
    • Help facilitate a funding plan that includes government
    • Lotteries, such as Sick Kids Hospital Lottery, now joining with other hospitals to be bigger and better - conservation could take a similar approach
    • "Round-up Funds" could be used to generate funding if perception of hunting and fishing were to be improved
  • Education
    • Educate and develop outdoor-education curriculums for youth, especially elementary school and ages 12 to 14
    • Educate new Canadians
    • Post-secondary inclusion of outdoor education in the curriculum (train the trainers)
    • Communicate the message that positive work extends beyond hunted and/or fished species
    • Recruit mentors and create mentoring programs
    • Communicate the message of "what's in it for Canadians?"
    • Encourage government to promote the benefits of fishing and hunting and Canada's natural resources in general
    • Train teachers in outdoor-related education
    • Demonstrate financial savings by linking fish and wildlife conservation to better health
    • Healthy wildlife populations mean healthy human populations
    • Share success stories
  • Collaboration
    • Build a stronger coalition
    • Develop a recruitment strategy
    • Invite government to the table and clearly identify the value of participating in outdoor-related activities like hunting and fishing
    • Use the North American Wildlife Conservation Partners (a consortium of 42 organizations, of six million individuals) format to create a confederation of non-governmental organizations that would engage government though government may not be a member
    • Work with government to connect health and outdoor education departments and industries using government-funded models such as "Participaction"
    • Work with government to influence school curriculums through history, health and social sciences programs
    • Work with industry regarding "social responsibility" in private sector to encourage partnerships and funding (environment and health initiatives)
    • Look to British Columbia's Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (10 steps to implementing with success) and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) as examples of collaboration
    • Develop a government-endorsed strategy
    • Follow examples of successes like the "Back to Nature Initiative" in Ontario and the "Children's Nature Network" in the U.S.
    • Link the conservation message to the health message by connecting to other government programs/initiatives such as the organic food market, the federal government's One Health Initiative, Open Trails
  • Planning
    • Create a national advisory panel
    • Develop a long-term business, communications and marketing strategy and media plan (including social media) to develop the best messaging, best audience and best outcomes, etc.
    • Use the National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Congress as a springboard to action
    • Include outdoor-related health benefits in communications and marketing strategies (e.g., Alberta focus where there is the political will but no content as of yet)
    • Rely on focus groups to understand needs and interests around fish and wildlife conservation
    • Connect technology to the outdoors (e.g., mobile phone applications)
    • Create more/better outdoor experiences for those in urban settings
    • There is a demand for outdoor programs but more opportunities need to be created
  • Policy
    • "User pay" policy for outdoor activities - could expand to all outdoor users and products
    • Surcharge on licenses
    • Transfer penalty fees from fish and wildlife violations into programming costs, such as wetland conservation projects
  • Other
    • Need role models and leaders
    • Develop a logo and license for a fee

Question 4: From your brainstorming list, what are the top five recommendations for advancing your vision?

  1. Create a national coalition of wildlife conservation partners. Establish and focus on common ground goals by creating/expanding a confederation of like-minded organizations in Canada (eg., North American Wildlife Conservation Partners) that would include and extend beyond hunters to all those interested in outdoor activities.
  2. Engage and embrace new technologies and tools such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate the fish and wildlife conservation issues and values to a broader public audience.
  3. Connect being outdoors to health and civic education by developing school curriculums to be included in history classes, etc., linking outdoor lifestyles to health and wellness (Participaction, One Health Initiative, organic food market, etc.).
  4. Develop a comprehensive strategy to include outreach, media communications, messaging, target markets and audiences, leaders and champions and appropriate messengers and methods to reach target markets for fish and wildlife conservation.
  5. Develop existing and identify new funding mechanisms for accomplishing the above, including exploring fundraising opportunities such as surcharges and tax incentives.


Question 5: For each of your five recommendations, what role do governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, communities and landowners play in advancing your vision?

Not fully completed - insufficient time

Federal Government Role

Provincial Government Role

Non-governmental Organizations

  • communicate with government
  • special program and relationship need
  • continue to develop partnerships

Private Sector

First Nations

  • link to cultural and natural heritage
  • create a unique invite to bring First Nations to the table