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Our Sportsmen Heritage

For American sportsmen and women, healthy populations of fish and game are considered a birthright. But woods and waters teeming with bass, trout, elk, ducks and deer didn’t happen by accident.

Sportsman in Forest, Shutterstock

 For more than 150 years, countless individuals have spoken up on behalf of the conservation of our fish and wildlife. As some of America's earliest conservationists, sportsmen and women have played a crucial role in almost every single conservation movement in the last century.

The National Wildlife Federation and Sportsmen

The National Wildlife Federation was created in 1936 after J.N. Ding Darling, an avid waterfowl hunter and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to invite more than 2,000 hunters, anglers, and conservationists from across the country to the first North American Wildlife Conference in Washington, D.C.

Since its inception, the National Wildlife Federation has worked to amplify the voices of sportsmen and women, alongside diverse constituencies of gardeners, bird watchers, scientists, outdoor enthusiasts, and families to achieve the common goal of protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat for all species.

Engaging sportsmen and women on key conservation issues is a strength the National Wildlife Federation continues to bring to the broader environmental community, especially through our work with our hook-and-bullet affiliates, hunter-angler partner organizations and other coalitions.


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