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FB73 Conservation Education Formatted

FB73 Conservation Education Formatted

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Florida Fish Busters' Bulletin for January 2012 about the core concepts for conservation education.
Florida Fish Busters' Bulletin for January 2012 about the core concepts for conservation education.

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Florida Fish Busters’ BulletinJanuary 2012
New Year’s Messages from FWC
By Bob Wattendorf Happy New Year! As many of us flip the pages of a new 2012 calendar andglance in awe at photographs featuring nature’s beauty – from wild habitats to fishand wildlife or outdoor recreation – it is a good time to reflect on what it takes tomake those glorious images. Ask any passionate angler, hunter oroutdoors person what he or she loves aboutnature and getting outdoors and you’ll getan answer based on personal experiences.However, certain key points almost alwayscome up, including a love of connectingwith nature, being able to relax and getaway from stress, and spending quality time with friends and families.
Ms. Walker and son enjoy the fun of sharing timetogether in nature. Photo courtesy of Jim Walker.
If you inquire about what conservation agencies should do to help them enjoytheir experiences, you’ll hear similar themes such as protect the habitat, providepublic access and help create the next generation that cares. You’ll also hearconcerns expressed about other people and especially the younger generation not
understanding the importance of fish and wildlife conservation and the joy andbenefits of participating in outdoor recreational opportunities.Each state has an agency dedicated to fish and wildlife conservation andproviding fishing and hunting opportunities to the 88 million Americans over theage of 16 who fish, hunt or enjoy other wildlife-related recreation (2006 NationalSurvey). In Florida, that is the responsibility of the Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission (FWC). Throughout 2011, the FWC made huge inroads toaddress those concerns through enhanced education, outreach and communicationsefforts. In previous Fish Busters’ Bulletins, we’ve discussed Get Outdoors Florida!(www.GetOutdoorsFlorida.org
) and the Florida Youth Conservation CentersNetwork (www.FYCCN.org
), which have gotten off to an amazing start but stillneed your support to reach Floridians with key messages about living a happier,healthier and smarter lifestyle by getting outdoors and enjoying active, nature-based recreation.In October 2010, FWC staff joined educators from 37 state fish and wildlifeagencies for a North American Conservation Education Strategy Training Academy.Seven years of research and development in the field of conservation educationculminated in the training session, which stressed core concepts in education andoutreach (including outdoor skills, hunter education and aquatic educationprograms) to provide more valuable and relevant messages to Americans of all ages.The training was funded by a grant from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and included:
Understanding AFWA’s Core Conservation Concepts and encouragingstates to adapt their own (see Florida’s below)
Formulating conservation education benchmarks
Implementing a kindergarten through high school process forconservation education
Using field investigation activities for inquiry-based learning
Integrating outdoor skills-based education into state educationstandards
Using best practices for developing stewardship education
Learning about the North American Model of Fish and WildlifeConservation and promoting the 75
anniversary of the Federal Aid inWildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program in 2012.The FWC’s core concepts forconservation education have been refinedand will be part of a consistent messagingeffort in Florida and nationally. Theseideas communicate what every citizenshould know and understand about fish,wildlife and their conservation andmanagement.
Concept 1:
The FWC is the agency responsible for leading fish and wildliferesource management in Florida. Fish and wildlife belong to us all, and the FWCmanages and protects these resources on our behalf.
The Florida Constitution authorizes the Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission to enact rulesand regulations regarding the state's fish andwildlife resources. FWC file photo.

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