USSA’s 2008 Year in Review
USSA 2008 – Despite the challenges of 2008, the USSA achieved many key victories for sportsmen nationwide. From lowering barriers to new hunters to defending the trapping in Minnesota and Maine, the USSA and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) were busy on wide range of issues critical to sportsmen. In addition, the USSAF’s flagship education effort, the Trailblazer Adventure Program, reached new heights. Over 175,000 children and their families were introduced to the wonders of outdoor sports. The USSA’s highlights of our year follow. For more information, check out our new Annual Report.
- The USSA kicked off its new U.S. Sportsmen’s Alert Network last summer. The program is designed to inform and mobilize sportsmen for action through a series of e-mail Action Alerts, news releases and our weekly On Target e-newsletter. Partner companies and organizations include Remington, Inc., The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), The Master’s of Foxhounds Association of America, and The Wild Sheep Foundation. The Alert Networks is already reaching out to nearly 400,000 sportsmen.
- Through the combined efforts of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the NWTF, and the USSA, the national Families Afield Program chalked up eight more victories this year in: Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Virginia. Families Afield is a full scale, national effort to counteract declining sportsmen’s numbers. The program works in the legislatures and before regulatory agencies to eliminate restrictive rules that impede new hunters.
- The USSA stopped donations made by Midwest retail giant Meijer, Inc. to the largest anti-hunting group in the nation, the Humane Society of the United States, through an online pet photo contest. After learning of the contest and where the money would go, the USSA sent out a call to action for sportsmen to voice their concern. This resulted in a flood of phone calls, faxes and emails to the retailer and prompted it to discontinue its inadvertent assistance to the anti movement.
- Our litigation program, the US Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (US SLDF) successfully protected hunters’ interests in a lawsuit brought by antis’ to make black bears in Florida off-limits to sportsmen forever.
- In Minnesota and Maine, the US SLDF, fought antis’ suits that attempted to use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a weapon to ban trapping and threaten all outdoor sports.
- The USSA’s U.S. Sporting Dog Defense Coalition (U.S. SDDC) won a major victory in Pennsylvania that stopped the antis’ campaign to regulate sporting dog breeders into oblivion,
- The USSA stopped two bills in Ohio that represented threats to sporting dog breeders with an intense lobbying and grassroots effort. One bill was another “puppy mill” bill that would have forced a one-size-fits -all regulatory scheme on sporting dog breeders. The other bill would have dramatically increased costs to sporting dog breeders by mandating that only veterinarians could administer rabies vaccinations.
- The USSA worked closely with the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) and the Masters of Foxhounds to defeat a California measure that would have required the spay or neuter of dogs and cats, including hunting dogs.
- The USSA continued leading the nation’s sportsmen to oppose a ban on hunting of hunting healthy, sustainable polar bear populations in Canada.
- The US SLDF received a favorable decision from an Arizona federal court judge concerning a case brought against the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) by environmental groups claiming that FWS had violated the law by providing wildlife watering devices in Arizona’s Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.
- Another milestone was set for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation’s (USSAF) signature education effort, the Trailblazer Adventure Program. A new attendance record was set as over 175,000 young people and their families participated in the award-winning program throughout America. Almost 700,000 young people and their family members have been served by the program since 2001.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) work nationwide, representing over 1.5 million sportsmen through member clubs and individual constituents. The organizations provide legislative, legal defense and public education services to defend and advance sportsmen’s rights in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 states.