Wedding Singer to Rock Star: USSA Steps Up
K.J. Houtman 06.06.14
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) has won over 90 percent of the battles they’ve fought since the inception of the non-profit organization. Unfortunately, they would win and then leave, not telling anyone about the victory. Now this group has reorganized, with a focus on the mission and good communication, too. This grassroots network monitors and initiates activism in all 50 states everyday to protect the right to hunt, shoot, trap, and fish in the outdoors of America. “You can be a wedding singer or a rock star,” said Nick Pinizzotto, the new President/CEO of USSA. “We’re going to carry the message of what we’ve been doing and our successes.”
USSA wages mostly state- and local-level battles against forces with sights honed on hunting, fishing, and shooting rights. Teaming up with local and regional groups to stir action, this organization works tirelessly to get in the way of organizations that want to take away our outdoor rights. “The Humane Society of the United States is the biggest lie,” claimed Pinizzotto. “They mainstream themselves, but they aren’t who you think they are. Less than one percent of their money is spent on anything to do with pets. Their number-one goal is to end hunting.” Apparently, they have deep pockets for the battle. “The good news is they lost $20,000,000 last year,” continued Pinizzotto. “But they have a $200,000,000 endowment; they have a lot of money.”
The antis wake up every day ready to wage their war, and they are in it for the long haul. “Our job is to get in their way,” said Pinizzotto. “Doesn’t matter if you’re a duck hunter in Arkansas or a deer hunter in Wisconsin, these battles over bear hunts, wolf hunts, or lead bans, for example, are the methods they use.”
Outdoor sportsmen have to engage in the battle, even if we don’t like the fact we have a battle. “The reality is that 80 percent of Americans don’t hunt, so they may not have formed an opinion. We need them to not align with this anti-messaging,” said Pinizzotto.
To that end, USSA is re-launching its website to deliver the message of the work they do in a better way. They are rejuvenating their social media efforts, and positioning their organization as working for all sportsmen and women. Based in Ohio, and monitoring all 50 states every day, USSA recently opened a California office to take the battle to the frontline.
What can you do? The first three are completely free.
- Go to their website and sign up for free to be a “Sentry” in your local area. That triggers getting the USSA e-newsletter, so they could contact you if a threat arises in your state. Action options, such as signing a petition or contacting a state legislator, mobilize the grass roots. If the antis can turn out a petition with 200 signatures and 100 phone calls, outdoorsmen can collaborate to turn out thousands of signatures and flood the legislators’ offices with thousands of phone calls in response.
- Like their Facebook page.
- Commit to timely, responsive action. Next time you hear, see, or read that we need to call a lawmaker or sign a petition—do it. USSA can tell us the hot issues, but we are the ones who have to take action.
- Become a member. Basic memberships start at $25 annually, with several options in addition to that level. Find one that fits and help fund the hard work that covers our backs. A charitable gift to the foundation is tax deductible.
The most important takeaway is that there are enemies to hunting, fishing, trapping, and shooting sports in America, and they do their work in every state, every day, taking any opportunity to chip away at our rights. Thankfully, USSA identifies where the threat is coming from and mobilizes a strong pro-outdoor response.
K.J. Houtman is the author of the award-winning Fish On Kids Books series, chapter books for eight- to 12-year-olds with adventures based around fishing, camping, and hunting. Her work is available at Amazon and local bookstores. Find out more at fishonkidsbooks.com.