Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Report Shows Changing Trends for Public Land Use
According to ScienceBlog, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station just published a national study that shows more Americans are getting outdoors, but fewer are hunting and fishing while there. In fact, this report states that hunting and fishing numbers have either flattened or declined during the past decade.
Ken Cordell, a scientist who is considered an authority on recreational trends in the U.S., prepared the report as part of the 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment. The report showed growth in other outdoor activities, namely viewing and photographing nature. So, instead of hunting, there will be more shooting of shutters in public parks in the future.
Even backcountry activities such as skiing and snowboarding declined in the period between 2000 and 2010.
Projections based on this report show that public lands will be the favored places to view and photograph nature. Cordell said, “Trends in nature-based and other outdoor recreation have far-reaching implications, especially for how we manage public lands. This report offers the only public agency-sponsored long range forecasting of recreation demand for the United States.”
While it’s great that more people are getting outside and appreciating nature, I think it’s a wake-up call for hunters and sportsmen to be on their best conservationist behaviors at all times, and especially in public parks.