Phoenix, AZ -(AmmoLand.com)- The national nonprofit Tread Lightly!, with the help of its partner Arizona Game and Fish Department, hosted an event last Saturday in Phoenix to bring together outdoor recreationists, industry leaders, local stakeholders and representatives from both federal and state agencies responsible for managing Arizona’s public lands.
The purpose of the gathering was to help fundraise for and champion the Respected Access in Arizona campaign. The event also launched an online auction to offer big-ticket items, now live, with bidding closing on December 12.
In only its second year, the fun shoot, dinner and live auction last Saturday united nearly 250 individuals from across the state; all dedicated to keeping Arizona’s public lands open to people of all ages and abilities.
The Respected Access in Arizona campaign was established to protect access and opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of recreational opportunities, with a special focus on promoting responsible recreational shooting. Revenues raised will fund campaign strategies including highway billboards, outdoor signage, educational brochures, public service announcements, a special website, and stewardship projects. In the last year, the campaign supported cleanup projects that engaged more than 1,100 volunteers in the removal of more than 100 tons of trash from public lands around the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Arizona residents also have been encouraged to take the pledge to ACT: Be Accountable for shooting behaviors; Clean up after yourself and Tread Lightly on public lands.
“Our ultimate goal is changing the behavior of visitors to our public lands and encouraging these citizens to demonstrate a strong recreational ethic in an effort to protect our access, our sport, our legacy,” said Larry Voyles, Arizona Game and Fish Department Director.
At least 61 businesses and organizations came together to generously support the cause. The event’s Presenting Sponsors were John Deere and Dallas Safari Club; the Platinum Sponsors were AZFirearms.com and Federal Premium Ammunition; and the Gold Sponsors were National Shooting Sports Foundation and the AZ Archery Club.
“The success of this partnership program is remarkable,” said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!’s executive director. “The funds we are raising in Arizona will remain in Arizona to help sustain the incredible momentum we are building to motivate behavior change and empower citizen stewards in this great state.”
The online auction is open to all US residents and includes the following products:
- John Deere Gator XUV 825i Utility Vehicle – donated by John Deere
- Five day plains game hunt for up to four hunters in South Africa – includes trophy fees and taxidermy credits – donated by Dallas Safari Club.
- Smittybilt Overlander Vehicle Tent, tent awning, portable Arctic Fridge/Freezer, 3,000 lb winch, and air compressor – donated by Smittybilt
- Set of 4 Vogue Tires – donated by Discount Tire
- Ruger SR1911 Centerfire Pistol, Model #6711 – donated by Ruger
Respected Access is Open Access aims to motivate a stronger sense of ownership and appreciation of shared and respected access to public and private lands. The campaign is national in scope but has been customized with a local focus for several states, with more in the works.
For more information about the Arizona campaign and to take the ACT pledge, go to respectedaccessarizona.org.
About Tread Lightly!:
Tread Lightly! is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs. Tread Lightly!’s educational message, along with its unique training and restoration initiatives are strategically designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them. The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain a healthy environment. Tread Lightly!’s award-winning materials, programs and services are solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing recreation issues.
Individuals and businesses can commit to Tread Lightly! and protect outdoor access by becoming a member at www.treadlightly.org.