Contact: Kent Keene, Assistant Manager, Lower Midwestern States and Agriculture Policy
- Last week, conservationists across the United States celebrated National Pollinator Week.
- Taking place during the first week of summer, National Pollinator Week represents an opportunity to celebrate the importance of pollinators to many of our nation’s most iconic ecosystems.
- While celebrating pollinators may seem a bit odd to some sportsmen and women, it is important that, as the original conservationists, we celebrate the role that these species play in supporting the natural communities and, therefore, the outdoor opportunities that we enjoy.
Why it matters: As the original conservationists, sportsmen and women are arguably among the most connected to the natural world around us. While much of our interest can be traced back to the critters that we enjoy pursuing, the conservationist mentality that we share also provides an inherent appreciation for the species and processes that ultimately contribute to our opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Pollinators, through their efforts, represent one of the most important, and often unsung, heroes to our nation’s native communities. Because of this, it is important for sportsmen and women to recognize the importance of pollinators and continue to take steps to support their persistence across the nation.
When was the last time that you thought about a butterfly? That’s a bit of a weird question, don’t you think? But, if you’re a hunter that enjoys pursuing game in many of our nation’s diverse ecosystems, the question has relevance to your outdoor pursuits. This is why it is so important for sportsmen and women, the original conservationists, to have joined last week’s celebration of National Pollinator Week!
If you’re still scratching your head, that is ok. Pollinators are the epitome of the unsung hero. By serving as a critical component in the successful reproduction of many important forage and browse species for deer and elk, promoting plants that provide nesting cover for various ground nesting birds, and, in some cases, serving as an important source of protein for young birds, pollinators represent the foundation of healthy habitats throughout much of the country.
Looking beyond out interest as sportsmen and women, pollinators also help feed the world by pollinating a wide array of crops. Whether fruits, vegetables, or nuts, much of the food that we enjoy, often in conjunction with our favorite game meat recipe, has been touched by a pollinator.
If you’re interested in learning more, we would encourage you to take some time and explore the connection between pollinators and many of the species that mean the most to us as sportsmen and women. To do this, check out information made available by CSF’s partners like Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Wildlife Federation, and more.
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Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (6.06%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.63%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.89%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.91%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.26%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.26%)