Comprehensive evaluation of the Nebraska outdoor enthusiast
January 2016 - January 2019
- Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Fishing and hunting license sales and taxes on fishing and hunting equipment are vital sources of funding for wildlife management agencies, and in many cases, management objectives are met under the stewardship of sportspersons. The dependence on hunters and anglers by management agencies like the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission makes the North American Model of Conservation unique, but vulnerable to declining participation in outdoor recreation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supports the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation Survey in a nationwide effort to understand the sporting public. Conducted every five years, the National Survey identifies generalizations concerning patterns of outdoor enthusiast participation in the USA. Although useful for setting broad policy, the spatial and temporal scales of this National Survey limit the capacity for state fish and wildlife agencies to affect local participation within their state. To overcome the limitations of the National Survey, many state agencies conduct surveys of individual license holders. However, state surveys are often highly directed, limiting their applicability across user groups and state boundaries. Given the challenges of both national and state surveys, there is a need to bridge the information gap and understand hunters and anglers at spatial and temporal scales that may more directly assist in creating hunting and angling opportunities. We are analyzing a comprehensive database on license holders in Nebraska with the goal of helping inform and direct wildlife and fisheries management, as well as recruitment and retention efforts within the state.