CLFT Challenge Grant
Special To: The Outdoor Wire May 24, 2010
The Shooting Wire
For Immediate Release For additional
Bob Delfay, 803 641 1030
Hunting Heritage Trust Offers $10,000 Challenge Grant
For "Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow"
The Hunting Heritage Trust Board of Directors has announced a $10,000 Challenge Grant in support of the highly acclaimed "Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow" (CLfT) program.
The CLfT program was initiated by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in 2004 in response to a growing awareness that the nation's next generation of natural resource and wildlife management decision makers was losing its hands-on experience and involvement with hunting.
"Until fairly recently, nearly every student who pursued a career in wildlife sciences was a hunter and, as a result, had the skills and knowledge that allowed them to successfully interact with this important conservation constituency," commented Steve Williams, President of WMI. "Today, more than 50 percent of students graduating with a wildlife degree have never hunted and know little about the reasons why people hunt or the impact and benefits that hunting and hunters provide to wildlife management and other conservation programs."
"The students who are invited to participate in CLfT programs today will be making critical decisions concerning wildlife and hunting tomorrow," commented Bob Delfay, President of the Hunting Heritage Trust. "It is imperative these future leaders and decision makers receive some level of hands-on exposure to America's rich hunting heritage. If our next generation of natural resource professionals does not understand the roles, values, motivations and satisfactions derived from hunting, they will be unprepared and agency personnel to manage wildlife resources effectively."
CLfT also has successfully initiated pilot workshops for nonhunting personnel in state fish and wildlife agencies and federal wildlife and land-management agencies.
The CLfT program is designed as a 3.5-day workshop and is available only to wildlife and natural resource upper-class, graduate students who have never held a hunting license. At a CLFT workshop, these participants experience a blend of classroom and field instruction designed to give them a better understanding of the biological basis and traditions of hunting, and teach shooting skills and hunting safety. They also have the opportunity to experience the hunt for themselves, alongside responsible, safe hunting guides and mentors.
"At present, 35 universities are participating in the CLfT program at some level but there are many more students and more universities waiting to take part when funding is available," Delfay said. "We hope that the Hunting Heritage Trust's modest Challenge Grant will help increase awareness of and financial support for this important and promising effort."
Individuals, corporations or organizations interested in matching all or a portion of the Hunting Heritage Trust $10,000 Challenge Grant should contact email@example.com.
Additional information on the CLfT program is available at www.clft.org.