Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today named Stephen L. Sanetti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), to serve a second term on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (WHHCC). Sanetti is one of 18 people to be appointed to the council, an advisory group established in 2010 that will help to promote and preserve America’s hunting heritage for future generations.

“I am honored again to be named to this council by Secretary Salazar and Secretary Vilsack,” said Sanetti. “I look forward to working with the other distinguished appointees to secure the successful future of America’s hunting and recreational shooting sports heritage. I commend Secretary Salazar and Secretary Vilsack for continuing this council and its important work.”

The council provides a forum for sportsmen and women to advise the federal government on policies related to wildlife and habitat conservation endeavors that benefit recreational hunting, sport shooting and wildlife resources. It also will serve to encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation community, the hunting and shooting sports industry, wildlife conservation organizations, the states, Native American tribes and the federal government to responsibly manage federal lands for all appropriate uses, including hunting and recreational shooting.

Secretary Salazar said in a press release, “During its inaugural term, members of the council provided important recommendations on conserving wildlife habitat and water resources that are so important to America’s hunting and angling heritage, as well as enhancing access to the great outdoors. I am confident that today’s appointments will provide a strong voice to the nation’s conservation and sportsmen communities and ensure that the next generation enjoys a thriving wildlife heritage.”

Added Secretary Vilsack, “America’s rural communities and rural economies depend on healthy soil, water and air and America’s hunters and anglers — our nation’s first conservationists — have long fought to conserve those precious resources. These appointees are uniquely qualified to advise us on the full range of issues addressed by the council while reflecting the true conservation spirit of our nation’s outdoor traditions.”

WHHCC replaced the Sporting Conservation Council by expanding membership to include the hunting and shooting sports industry and broader representation from major hunting organizations.

Under Sanetti’s leadership, NSSF works in close partnership with sportsmen’s organizations to support wildlife conservation efforts. In addition, NSSF has taken the lead in developing initiatives that promote the educational benefits of outdoor recreation for young people through the expansion of opportunities for youth participation in shooting sports.

“I will continue to help the WHHCC with issues related to the important contributions that the hunting, shooting sports and firearms industry makes to wildlife conservation and the nation’s economy,” said Sanetti, who pointed out that these industries generate over 209,000 jobs and an economic benefit of $32 billion annually.

Firearms and ammunition manufacturers that NSSF represents are the largest financial supporters of wildlife conservation, having contributed over $7 billion since 1937 to habitat conservation and wildlife management through excise tax payments.

The six federal agencies playing a key role in supporting and maintaining America’s outdoors heritage–the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency–and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, will also appoint organizational members to the council.

For a list of other appointees named to a three-year term on the WHHCC, see the Department of Interior’s press release.

Image Courtesy of NSSF

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