Wise use of our natural resources is the premise on which the Michigan United Conservation Clubs founded Outdoorama back in 1974 at the old state fairgrounds in Royal Oak. Over the years the show has undergone changes but the one constant has been the strong conservation foundation on which Outdoorama was built. Conservation will again be at the forefront this year when Outdoorama lands at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, February 27 to March 2.

The isles of the show, which covers four acres, will be loaded with conservation-minded groups, organizations and agencies, promoting the wise use of our natural resources.

Since 1937 Michigan United Conservation Clubs has been the watchdog for Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. MUCC lobbies for hunting, fishing and trapping rights in Lansing; works closely with state and federal game and fish managers on regulations, habitat projects and management issues; spearheaded the recent Mentored Hunting Program and Hunter Heritage bills, which eliminated the minimum age for hunting in Michigan; and is heavily involved with gathering signatures for the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

MUCC’s presence remains strong at Outdoorama. Staff will be on hand to talk with show patrons about hot conservation issues like the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the recent wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula, hunting and fishing license fee increases and other topics.

Michigan Sea Grant supports research, outreach and education to enhance sustainable use of Great Lakes resources, benefiting the environment, the quality of life and the Michigan, Great Lakes and national economy. Sea Grant staff will discuss with show patrons its vision of healthy and sustainable Great Lakes resources and the joint efforts with universities and the public and private sectors to see that vision through.

Lake Superior State University’s Aquatic Research Laboratory is a national leader in aquatic research, especially on the Atlantic salmon. Staff from LSSU will be available all four days of Outdoorama to discuss ongoing fisheries research, hatchery operations, aquatic ecology, the expanded effort to stock Atlantic salmon in Lake Huron and much more. There are some exciting programs taking place at LSSU. Come out and learn about the ongoing efforts to support fisheries in the Great Lakes and connecting waters.

The Western Wayne County Conservation Association was founded in 1938 and has been promoting conservation and safety in the outdoors ever since. The club is located on 80 acres in Plymouth Township and regularly holds hunter education classes, maintains and improves sections of Johnson Creek, educates youths about conservation, provides birdhouse kits and duck nesting boxes for kids and scouting groups and improves wildlife habitat. Visit Outdoorama to talk with club members and learn more about WWCCA’s conservation efforts.

The Howell Conference and Nature Center holds public seminars, classes and camps throughout the year promoting conservation and educating people on the value of our natural resources. From preschool programs and scouting classes to night hikes and photo workshops the center provides opportunities for conservationists of all ages. Staff from the Nature Center will be on hand all four days of Outdoorama with a host of live wild critters on display.

The Livonia-based Michigan Fly Fishing Club has been educating fly fishermen and restoring critical trout habitat since 1970. MFFC has raised over $300,000 for habitat work over the years and was the driving force in the early-1970s behind opening a stretch of the Huron River to an early catch-and-release fishing season beginning each April 1. That season remains viable today. MFFC members will be available all four days of the show answering questions and demonstrating fly-tying and casting techniques.

Both the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Natural Resources will be on hand with literature on programs and regulations. Staff will also be answering questions from show patrons pertaining to natural resource use in both states.

The list of conservation groups and organizations slated at attend the 41st annual Outdoorama is impressive. Some of the other groups attending the show are: Commemorative Bucks of Michigan, Downriver Walleye Association, Huron Valley Chapter Ducks Unlimited, Huron Valley Sportfishing Club, Metro-West Steelheaders, Michigan BASS Nation, Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan Bowhunters, Michigan Charterboat Association, Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers, National Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others.

The first 500 attendees on Thursday and Friday receive a free, collectible Dardevle spoon from Eppinger Manufacturing Co. in Dearborn. The first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday receive a free K&E Bass Stopper lure from Stopper Lures in Hastings.

The show that celebrates Michigan’s conservation traditions is February 27 to March 2. Bring the kids and grandchildren. Show hours are Thursday, 3 to 9:30; Friday, noon to 9:30; Saturday, 10 to 9; and Sunday, 10 to 5. For more information, go to http://www.Outdoorama.com or call 800-328-6550.

Discount tickets are available at Wendy’s or online at Outdoorama.com

You can also follow late-breaking news and developments at: www.facebook.com/ULTIMATESPORTSHOWTOUR and at www.twitter.com/Outdoorama.

Logo courtesy Michigan United Conservation Clubs

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