Tread Lightly!, a nonprofit organization for outdoor ethics, has released a series of print public service announcements encouraging responsible behavior on public lands. The PSAs are part of a much larger, new education and outreach campaign called, “Respected Access is Open Access.”
“Being respectful of public lands is the goal of the campaign,” says Lori McCullough, executive director of the nonprofit. “Across America, access and opportunities are dwindling at a rate so serious it demands our immediate attention and action. Damage caused by a minority of recreationists who are either uninformed or uncaring of the consequences of their actions is contributing to the loss of access for everyone.”
Tread Lightly! created the Respected Access campaign at the request of the Federal Lands Hunting and Shooting Sports Roundtable. Built on extensive research, the initial PSAs were designed to reduce litter, property damage and natural resource damage as a means of helping to maintain — even enhance — access to public lands for hunting and shooting sports.
The campaign will include public service announcements, social networking, Web site resources, an online awareness course, trail kiosks, press coverage and outreach at key events.
Eventually, the campaign will grow beyond shooting sports to address several other issues and types of recreation.
“The Respected Access campaign has been a true partnership of resources with national hunting and shooting sports organizations to promote responsible behaviors on public lands,” says Jim Bedwell, director of recreation for the U.S. Forest Service. “The Respected Access campaign complements the efforts of land managers across the nation to manage sustainable recreation.”
The Respected Access movement is currently supported through funding from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Yamaha, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Safari Club International, and others.
“The BLM is proud to be a part of the roundtable and partner with Tread Lightly! in this important campaign,” says Bob Ratcliffe, director of recreation for the BLM. “Through collaborative outreach efforts like this, we increase our capacity in ensuring that this vital message is heard.”