ALEXANDRIA, VA (August 9, 2018) – The National Park Service (NPS) has joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) on an unprecedented memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF). The MOU, originally signed in October 2017 during the first-ever National Hunting and Fishing Month, calls for the development and expansion of cooperation among the participating parties for planning and implementing mutually-beneficial projects and activities to promote recreational fishing and boating conducted on public lands and waterways.
“The National Park Service welcomes more than 300 million visitors to national parks each year, many of whom come to spend time on the water,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “Working with these organizations helps us generate more awareness of park resources and water recreation.”
In support of RBFF’s 60 in 60 goal to increase angler participation from the current 49.1 million recreational fishing participants in the U.S. ages 6+ to 60 million by 2021, the MOU will help promote angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) activities among all participating organizations.
Through the MOU, the NPS and other participating organizations will work towards such goals as increased volunteerism on public lands, improved quality of aquatic and riparian resources, improved recreational fishing experiences and increased educational programs for recreational fishing and fisheries. NPS management emphasizes visitor experience and the conservation of native species. Recent NPS activities include the development of the Fish and Fishing website and a new Junior Ranger Let’s Go Fishing! booklet.
The addition of the NPS to the MOU comes at a critical time. Participation in fishing has increased for the second straight year, according to preliminary numbers from the 2018 Special Report on Fishing. Key target audiences including Hispanics, youth and women are all showing positive trends, placing an increased focus on innovative methods to keeping new and diverse audiences engaged in the activity.
“Our 60 in 60 goal is off to a strong start, but we need everyone involved to continue innovating and increasing efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate participants,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “The R3 methods we have championed have proven to be effective, and this MOU will go a long way in ensuring our industry keeps pushing forward towards a bright future for fishing and boating.”
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org, and VamosAPescar.org, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.