Outdoors groups join on youth fishing outreach

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Two natural resources organizations joined forces to get kids fishing in an effort to connect a generation — increasingly growing disconnected from the outdoors — to nature.

The National Professional Anglers Association and the National Wildlife Federation recently linked forces to “reach out to a whole generation of kids with no connection to the outdoors,” Wildlife Federation regional representative for the Great Lakes Jason Dinsmore said in a statement.

“It’s not just kids, but we will leverage the passion and knowledge of both organizations to benefit and grow the sport of fishing,” National Professional Anglers Association executive director Pat Neu said

Last year, 107 anglers association members conducted 127 Future Angler events that reached 11,211 youngsters and 8,617 parents.

"The Future Angler events our members are hosting are much more than feel-good events; they're making a difference," Neu said.

Dinsmore said plans include youth education, community involvement and natural resources heritage engagement in schools and at special events.

"Together we will try to inspire the next generation of sportsmen, hunters and conservationists and expose them to the natural world," he said.

The Wildlife Federation partners with 850 major companies in the fishing and waterfowl business and groups such as DU, the American Sportfishing Association, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Isaak Walton League, BASS and many others in the Vanishing Paradise coalition.

“We are focused on funding habitat improvement projects. Our goal was coastal (the Mississippi River delta) five years ago, but that mission has expanded,” said Andy McDaniels, the Wildlife Federation’s sportsman outreach coordinator for conservation programs. “Working with the NPAA will be another way to reach the public and will be beneficial in creating future conservation leaders."

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