Sportsmen Can Help Conserve Valued Hunting, Angling Destinations
Game And Fish Says Completing Surveys Crucial To Statewide Effort
October 1, 2015
PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is urging sportsmen who are invited to participate in the Sportsman's Values Mapping Project to take a few moments to identify lands they cherish for their hunting and angling values.
The department soon will be mailing postcards to a random sample of individuals who have purchased Arizona hunting and fishing licenses, directing them to a website where they can draw their favorite areas on a map. The Sportsman's Values Mapping Project is part of a statewide effort launched by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the department, in cooperation with several state sportsmen's groups.
That input will be combined and assembled in a geographic information system (GIS), where it will be overlaid with maps of critical habitat, migration routes, land ownership and other data. The resulting maps will provide important and previously unavailable data to state and federal agencies for the following purposes:
Balance other land uses with the needs of fish, wildlife and sportsmen.
Identify areas needing stronger conservation efforts, or expansion of hunting and angling opportunities.
Identify key high-use areas warranting special conservation strategies, because of their value to sportsmen.
Justify actions and funding requests aimed at conserving highly valued wildlife habitat, and hunting and fishing areas.
Identify areas where public access needs to be maintained or improved.
"The department is pleased to present a scientifically-sound method for outdoor enthusiasts to tell us what areas of the state are important to their wildlife-related recreation," said Dr. Loren Chase, human dimensions program manager for Game and Fish. "This is an opportunity for Arizonans to participate in some innovative citizen-science research, so I would encourage anyone who receives a postcard in the mail to take a few minutes to participate."
The Sportsman's Values Mapping Project is a national initiative that was launched in 2007 by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. The project has been endorsed by the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, an alliance of 22 Arizona sportsmen's groups, as well as the state chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Trout Unlimited, Arizona Elk Society and Arizona Antelope Foundation.