April 9, 2012, marks the 85th anniversary of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. With the goal to be “the voice of the outdoors,” the organization was established by outdoor writing legends Jack Miner, Zane Grey, Morris Ackermann and approximately forty others, during an Izaak Walton League conference in Chicago, Ill., on April 9, 1927.
To celebrate, an open house will be held April 10, from 7-9 p.m., at OWAA headquarters, 615 Oak St., Suite 201, Missoula, Mont. All outdoor media folks and interested community members are welcome to attend; hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.
“… OWAA’s Bill of Organization … sought to establish professional status, to upgrade the quality of writers and their writing and to create recognition of OWAA as the standard-bearer of the outdoor writing field,” wrote editors Don G. Cullimore and Edwin Hanson in their book “Sixty-Five Years of OWAA: A Historical Summary of the Outdoor Writers Association of America” (1993).
In addition to the open house, OWAA recently launched an “$85 for 85 years” fundraising campaign aimed at ensuring a stable future of support for the outdoors communications community. Special coverage in a recent issue of Outdoors Unlimited celebrates the past 85 years. Coverage includes photos and memories from members as well as a brief history of the organization and wishes for the future.