Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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A northern bobwhite quail on a log at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Photo by Jessica Bolser/USFWS.

A northern bobwhite quail on a log at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Photo by Jessica Bolser/USFWS.

Service supports Iowa plan to recruit, retain
and reactivate outdoor recreationists

Midwestern states are part of a national movement to recruit, retain and reactivate (R3) hunters, trappers, anglers, recreational shooters and other outdoor recreationists. R3 activities seek to make it easier for people interested in hunting and angling to get involved and stay involved. Across the region conservationists are working to step down the National Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Plan. We have been engaged in this process from the beginning by attending state R3 planning workshops and encouraging hunter education, angler education, and R3 coordinators to be innovative and work across state lines. We have ensured states have the tools and information needed to understand the use of federal funds for Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs grants that support R3 projects.

“The Service, through existing Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs grants, will be essential in helping to implement many of Iowa's R3 efforts,” said Megan Wisecup, Iowa Department of Natural Resources R3 coordinator. “The Service will also be working with Iowa to identify ways to increase access and programming opportunities on Iowa’s National Wildlife Refuges. In a state with very little land available for public access, being able to continue to use and diversify the opportunities to hunt, trap, fish and recreate on the refuges will be a critical action step in increasing and improving access for outdoor recreation in Iowa.”

Iowa was the first state in the Midwest region to announce its statewide R3 plan “Cultivating the future of outdoor recreation in Iowa.” Iowa’s plan is the step down version of the National R3 Plan and the second state plan finalized nationally. The plan and state R3 website were launched in early November at a partner summit involving twenty organizations, where we joined Iowa Department of Natural Resources and conservation non-governmental organizations to discuss different roles in R3 activities in Iowa.

The state will use a variety of approaches to support R3 activities including improving and expanding shooting ranges for hunters and recreational shooters, expanding fishing programs, launching hunting and fishing communication campaigns, using evaluation tools from Wildlife Management Institute, and encouraging the use of an outdoor helpdesk application, Powderhook.

The strategies and actions in the Iowa state plan are the direct result of committed partners coming together to share their visions and experiences. Implementation teams and tasks will evolve as each partner - agency, non-governmental organization or industry- determines their role in recruiting, retaining and reactivating outdoor recreation activities in Iowa.

“Partnerships are foundational to the overall success of R3 because the challenges the outdoor recreation community faces in the 21st century are not isolated to specific agencies or conservation groups,” said Wisecup. “Our challenges impact industry, individuals, chapters and local economies as well.”

Together, Iowa’s conservation community will use the state plan to create new outdoor stewards who support stronger local economies, abundant fish and wildlife resources and clean air and water. We are looking forward to supporting and participating in these efforts.

By Melissa A. Clark
Regional Office - External Affairs

Patrick Bryant from Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge (left) and Megan Wisecup from Iowa Department of Natural Resources (right) discuss partner roles for each strategy in Iowa’s Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation plan. Photo by Melissa A. Clark/USFWS. 

Patrick Bryant from Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge (left) and Megan Wisecup from Iowa Department of Natural Resources (right) discuss partner roles for each strategy in Iowa’s Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation plan. Photo by Melissa A. Clark/USFWS.

 

Last updated: December 5, 2017