The harvest of wild foods is yet another reason to protect wildlands
The outdoors are the fabric of America’s collective heart. Every year millions of Americans head out into our nation’s incredible landscapes to camp, hike, fish, hunt and recreate in myriad ways. From our world class national parks and wildlife refuges to our national forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and state parks, we are incredibly blessed with amazing places to carry on our outdoor traditions. These places and the activities they support bind our families, incubate friendships, drive economies and promote physical and mental health.
These landscapes also help support another critical and mostly unknown but invaluable asset – food for millions of Americans. From bass in a Georgia lake and trout in Colorado streams to white-tailed deer in the Michigan woods and elk in the Montana mountains to wild mushrooms in Vermont and huckleberries in Washington, our country is loaded with abundant opportunities to harvest healthy, wild foods.
The National Wildlife Federation and the Wild Harvest Initiative have joined forces to promote the incredible value of fish and wildlife and their conservation across America. We understand that without protecting important fish and wildlife habitat, many Americans will lose key sources of food and critical connections to our past and our family traditions.
We understand intimately that most Americans value the harvest of wild fish, game, and foods from our forests, wildlands and waterways. And we know that for these important traditions to continue we need to highlight their incredible food value and their value to our uniquely American way of life. For instance, white-tailed deer harvested in 42 U.S. states provide enough meat to distribute 2 pounds annually to every single American and still have leftovers. And hunting overall provides an approximate minimum of more than 970 million pounds of meat annually in the US. Based on a 4 oz. serving, this equals more than 3.8 billion meals. (Source: Wild Harvest Initiative). That means untold meals with friends and family, a connection to nature, and an opportunity to further the cause of conserving America’s great outdoors. In a modern world where people are losing their connections to the outdoors and to healthy, nutritious foods, sharing these meals and the experiences that help put them on our tables is more important than ever.
We are honored to partner with Shane Mahoney and the Wild Harvest Initiative to share the bounty and the stories that make it all possible in the spirit of protecting our invaluable landscapes and waterways. Please enjoy our short videos series and look for more in the near future on this great partnership.
Join us today in our plight to illuminate the amazing value of America’s wild harvest and the need to protect the landscapes that make it all possible.
The Great American Outdoors Act will fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund while investing in a backlog of public land maintenance, providing current and future generations the outdoor recreation opportunities like boat launches to access fishable waters, shooting ranges, and public lands to hunt as well as the economic stimulus we need right now.