Covington, GA – Individuals from across the state gathered at Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Alcovy Conservation Center in July to discuss strategies to increase and diversify participation in hunting, angling, and target shooting – an effort known as R3. Fifty-five individuals representing 25 different organizations gathered for the 2023 R3 Summit hosted by the Georgia R3 Initiative. Most Initiative partners have the goal of maintaining our conservation funding system, which depends on these activities. The annual meeting was attended by professionals and volunteers who were updated on participation trends, introduced to existing programming, and encouraged to develop partnerships.

Audrey Hawk of event sponsor Quail Forever, says, “Georgia’s R3 Initiative is moving forward in exciting ways! The Summit confirmed several key projects for statewide collaboration. It also provided connections to multiple levels and divisions of non-government organizations, industry, and [governmental] agencies across the state. I can’t wait to return next year to see the progress we make!”

According to the 2016 National Survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, participation in hunting has declined since the 1980s. As a result, special emphasis is placed on R3 efforts for this activity. Participation in angling and target shooting has stabilized and increased, respectively. Summit attendees were reminded that the Initiative is an innovative community effort requiring resource sharing and creative thinking. The level of impact needed to ensure conservation support remains strong and relevant to all citizens is significant and only possible with teamwork.

The state Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division partners with Georgia Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited to spearhead the collaborative. The Georgia R3 Initiative is hosting committee meetings throughout the year to refine the state’s R3 Action Plan and establish workgroups. Volunteers from all backgrounds are encouraged to engage.

The Georgia R3 Initiative strives to increase and diversify participation in hunting, angling, and shooting sports because conservation dollars are generated nationally through the sales of shooting equipment, firearm ammunition, fishing equipment, and boat fuel. The number of hunting and fishing licenses sold in Georgia directs those funds to local habitat improvements, wildlife management, hunter education, and access to both land and water. This effort is known as R3 – a national movement to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters, anglers, and target shooters.

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The Georgia R3 Initiative is a cooperative effort between  Georgia Wildlife FederationGeorgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources DivisionNational Wild Turkey Federation, the Georgia Chapter of Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited.

About Georgia Wildlife Federation
Georgia Wildlife Federation was founded as a sportsman’s organization in 1936 and is Georgia’s oldest conservation organization. Today, members include hunters, anglers, bird watchers, hikers, educators, and all Georgians who are interested in preserving our natural resources and outdoor heritage.

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