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Valley Fever a Rising Threat to Western Hunters, Hikers

May 9, 2013

Valley Fever a Rising Threat to Western Hunters, Hikers

Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, is caused by inhaling fungal spores in dust clouds. This potentially deadly disease is common in arid Southwestern states, including Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Utah. Although treatable, valley fever is often misdiagnosed and sometimes overlooked for the other usual suspects, such as tuberculosis. This is partly because the fungal infection often mimics the common flu and sometimes displays no symptoms whatsoever.

According to CBS News, the disease is affecting a much larger number of people than it did several years ago. A major reason for this is the increasingly arid climate of the Southwest and in worst-case scenarios, drought.

“When it dries up, that’s when the fungus goes into the air,” Dr. Galgiani of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence said. “So when there is rain a year or two earlier, that creates more cases if drought follows.”

Wildfires and increased wind traffic could also be to blame for valley fever’s increased range.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cases of valley fever have been skyrocketing. California rose from 700 infections in 1998 to over 5,500 in 2011. Arizona followed with even higher numbers: a recorded 16,400 in 2011 from 1,400 in 1998. Overall, the number of cases across the country rose a staggering 850 percent.

If mistreated or ignored, valley fever can prove to be fatal. In a small number of patients the infection can spread from outwards from the lungs to target vital organs, such as the brain. Severe symptoms could include blindness and lung failure, and the condition can be fatal.

Outdoorsmen and residents who work outside are primarily at risk, as the dust kicked up by shoes and tools is increasingly hazardous. Humans are not the only ones at risk, wildlife and livestock are also affected by the disease. The CDC recommends several preventative measures:

  • Wear an N95 mask if you must be in or near a dusty environment, such as a construction zone
  • Avoid activities that involve close contact to dust including yard work, gardening, and digging
  • Use air quality improvement measures indoors such as HEPA filters
  • Take prophylactic anti-fungal medication if deemed necessary by your healthcare provider
  • Clean skin injuries well with soap and water, especially if they have been exposed to soil or dust

You can learn more about the disease and treatment options here.

Read and join the discussion on Valley Fever a Rising Threat to Western Hunters, Hikers at OutdoorHub.com.

South Dakota GFP Commission Meeting in Custer State Park this Week

May 1, 2013

South Dakota GFP Commission Meeting in Custer State Park this Week

The SD GFP Commission will hold its monthly meeting at Custer State Park’s Creekside Lodge May 2-3.

The Commission will be proposing East River, West River, Custer State Park, Black Hills, Archery, Muzzleloader, Refuge and Youth Deer Seasons, as well as Archery Antelope, Fall Turkey, Furbearer/Trapping, August Management Take Seasons and a  proposal for Archery Accompaniment.

The Commission will be finalizing a proposal for changes in off-season camping rates.

Click here for the full meeting agenda and proposal information (available Wednesday).

The meeting will begin at 1 pm MDT at the Creekside Lodge, which is adjacent to the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. The public hearing portion of the meeting will begin at 2 pm.

Read and join the discussion on South Dakota GFP Commission Meeting in Custer State Park this Week at OutdoorHub.com.

Guitar Strings and Bow Strings: Exclusive Interview with Musician and Mentor Ed Eason

April 16, 2013

Guitar Strings and Bow String: Exclusive Interview with Musician Ed Eason

Outdoor Hub is privileged to sit down with guitarist Ed Eason as he discusses Mentor Quest, a personal odyssey to preserve vital knowledge and skills for the next generation, particularly focusing on the outdoors. Ed plays a number of roles in his life: musician, artist, outdoorsman. None, however, are as important as his role as a father. 

That is why he set out on a quest to learn from the experts and leaders in the outdoor industry (such as Buck Knives and Mathews Bows) so that his sons and others may benefit from the wealth of knowledge. His three boys are aged 10, 7, and 3.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mentor Quest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSmrVSyahh0

Otherwise, let’s dive into the interview.

Outdoor Hub: One of the reasons you started Mentor Quest is because you want to teach your sons valuable knowledge. How do you think the world has changed since you were a kid and you were learning these skills?

Ed Eason: Obviously there’s a big drift away from the outdoors. Society seems to be more and more disconnected from the outdoors. That really bothers me and that’s one of the reasons I started diving into Mentor Quest. A lot of people seem to be scared of the unknown and are not willing to take a risk. People are forgetting about the thrill of the adventure.

Do you think there are any benefits living in today’s world for children, especially with the advent of the internet and easy-to-access knowledge ?

You can get on the internet now with all these different websites and online magazines that offer a plethora of information right at our finger tips. What I found was a challenge for me, though, was sifting through all that information. Sometimes there’s so much it can be a little overwhelming. You go on YouTube or whatever and you can get all these people who present themselves as experts. Who are the real experts and where are legitimate places to find knowledge? It could be a little frustrating trying to find it. But, it is still an amazing time for both kids and parents because that knowledge is at our fingertips. It just takes a little more effort to find it.

Do you think anything has changed for the worse in the modern world?

Yes. I’m especially sympathetic to people who grow up without fathers. Most of the time, they won’t have the chance to take part in those traditions that were passed down by the men in their families. It’s not a good thing.

For me an important thing for a growing child is a good example. That can include traditions and outdoor skills they need to learn. I think some people are afraid to let their kids get out into the wild, get out there and explore and be kids. I know as a dad I make sure that my children have that experience.

Who taught you these skills when you were a child? Did you have a mentor of your own?

My own parents divorced when I was in the second or third grade. I didn’t see my father for years, however I was fortunate enough to have someone who helped to guide me. We connected and his family took me in like their own. He had all daughters and so I got to be, in a sense, his son. It was because of him that I got to go hunting and fishing and all these experiences.

It was because of him that now when I’m an adult I realize how important it is that my children have them as well. He made such an impression on my life that it’s now going forward to my own kids. I don’t want my boys to learn from random people, I want them teach them myself. This is sort of the catalyst to what became Mentor Quest.

What was the motivating factor for you to start this project?

There are many pieces to this question. Here’s one of them: I wanted to buy a shotgun and there were three different guys I asked for advice. I got three different answers. While I appreciated their opinion, you can understand how difficult it was for me, someone who didn’t know much about buying a shotgun. And then I said, “why not learn these things straight from the experts?” Then I can have valuable knowledge for my boys. It’s coming straight from the heads of companies, the top hunters, anglers. This information will be valid and reliable. Another aspect is that when I was leaving for tour a while ago, I knew I was going to be leaving my family for some time. Then I wondered what I’ll be doing with that time. I needed to invest it in something. I was in prayer a lot. Then one morning I woke up and I came up with the idea for Mentor Quest and since then its been driving me forward.

What do you like to do for recreation outdoors?

Hunting, fishing, and camping. Love going camping now. Never had a hobby my whole life. Ever since I started playing the guitar when I was 13, I’ve been consumed with that. Now I’m coming home with this wealth of knowledge that I’ve learned. My favorite thing that I’ve gotten to try so far was to go elk hunting with a bow. I’ve gone turkey hunting several times and everybody tells me that elk hunting was the same thing, but to the Nth degree. I love the proximity. It’s unbelievable that you can get close to the animal.

How do you balance that with your professional life?

I’m fortunate that on tour I have days open. I can go hunting when on tour. I’m never more tired than when I’m in the middle of it all. When I’m at home I turn off the professional side of me, and then I take off with my sons and get out there.

From meeting with these experts and learning all these cool new things, is there anything you wish you had learned or done earlier?

I wish I had dived into fishing more when I was a kid. Fishing is one of those things that I’m still getting into and there seems to be so much to learn. I’m still learning all the different types of fish and techniques and rods and reels. I wish I had started earlier and hopefully will be doing more this year.

What would be your ideal outdoor adventure?

It would probably be Alaska. That would be the place for me. There’s just something about the ruggedness of Alaska. I want to be inspired.

What would you say are the first steps for parents who want to become a mentor to their own kids?

Don’t be afraid to ask the people you know. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbor. Ask them, “how do I do this?” If you want to go fishing ask them to take you fishing. I found that people are really receptive to that. When I humble myself and ask you how to say, tie a fishing knot, you’d be happy to show me. People want to teach. The hardest part is asking to learn.

What is next for you and Mentor Quest?

I’ve got big things in the works. Some big brands such as Buck Knives are on board with Mentor Quest and I’m talking with several production companies about taking Mentor Quest to TV. I’m very excited about the direction and opportunities that have come my way. Equally exciting are the great people I’m lining up to film. Some great people, great personalities, and great adventures are in store!

Thanks again to Ed for letting us pick his brain. Mentor Quest offers expert how to videos on a number of subjects and can be viewed on their official website or YouTube channel.

Read and join the discussion on Guitar Strings and Bow Strings: Exclusive Interview with Musician and Mentor Ed Eason at OutdoorHub.com.

Tick Prevention Isn’t Mission Impossible

April 4, 2013

Tick Prevention Isn’t Mission Impossible

Tick season may not be listed on the sportsmen’s calendar, but that shouldn’t prevent hunters from going outdoors prepared for a very likely encounter with this prolific species. As weather warms this spring ticks will become active, most likely until midsummer, or later. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can take several steps to prevent becoming a host to these hitchhikers and the various diseases they may carry.

Ticks are often associated with one of two groups: hard or soft ticks. “Hard ticks” are often found in wooded, grassy, or other densely vegetated areas, whereas “soft ticks” tend to reside in bird nests, on rodents, and on bats. Although many ticks can make their way to people, no species of tick depends solely on humans for survival. Some species are quite host-specific or accept only a few closely-related host species, however, due to the fact that a female tick can lay anywhere from 3,000 to 11,000 eggs, this should not be taken lightly.

The best way to reduce the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick-infested habitat in the first place. Since this is not an option for turkey hunters, hikers and morel mushroom hunters, listed below are a few simple precautions that can reduce the chances of a tick encounter.

  • Tip #1: Since most ticks crawl upward onto a host, tuck your pantlegs into your boots and shirts into your pants. For extra protection, tape such clothing junctures with duct tape, then twist the tape so the sticky side is out and make one more wrap.
  • Tip #2: Wear light-colored clothing when possible. This makes it easier to see ticks crawling around before they find their way to your skin.
  • Tip #3: Look for a repellent that contains 0.5 percent or more of permethrin. This works as a great tick repellent and can usually be used on clothing. In fact, some products containing permethrin can remain bonded with clothing fibers even through laundering.
  • Tip #4: When you return from the outdoors, inspect all your clothing before going inside. Once inside, do a thorough whole-body inspection and wash your clothing as soon as possible.
  • Tip #5: Don’t forget to protect man’s best friend. Commercially available dog dips containing amitrax or permethrin can provide canines with tick protection for two to three weeks per treatment. For the very best tick prevention for canines, contact your local veterinarian and inquire about prescribed treatment options, most of which can now last for a month or more.

If a tick is found, it is recommended that the tick be removed as soon as possible and the affected area is disinfected immediately following the removal.

Research trials have shown that the best method to remove a tick is to grasp the tick close to the skin with fine-tipped tweezers, placing the tweezers close to and parallel to the skin so that you grasp the base of the tick’s mouthparts rather than its body. Pull gently but firmly, straight away from the skin until the tick comes free. Keep in mind that it’s best to grasp the tick from its back to its belly, instead of from side to side – this helps to prevent the tick’s mouthparts from remaining imbedded in the skin. The sooner a tick is removed, the less chance it will transmit a disease to its host.

One of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks is Lyme disease.

After a tick bite, Lyme disease may progress several weeks without signs of illness, making diagnosis difficult. Years of pain and physical and mental impairment can result if untreated. The other three diseases often show signs within two to five days of a tick bite. They may progress so rapidly that a day or two of delay in diagnosis and treatment may result in death.

If signs of severe or persistent headaches, fever, soreness or stiffness in muscles and joints, appetite loss, fatigue, or a skin rash occur within three weeks after a tick bite, immediately contact your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html.

Read and join the discussion on Tick Prevention Isn’t Mission Impossible at OutdoorHub.com.

The Art of the Shot

April 1, 2013

Idaho photographer and outdoorswoman Megan Johnson envisioned this shot and set everything up with her self-timer to get it. After about ten tries, focusing on a stick that she placed where she would stand, she got it. Image courtesy Megan Johnson.

Lights, camera…action! Getting a great photo when enjoying the outdoors while fishing, hunting, or hiking isn’t just icing on the cake, a great photo is something we share with family and friends. It engages our memory of a special day for years to come—sometimes a lifetime.

Think about that favorite photo you have: the sunrise that glistens on the water as you head out for a day of fishing with your dad, or the vista with snow-capped peaks at the end of a perfect hike. Maybe it is the biggest bass of the week or your first elk, ever.

The right photo is a prized possession on your desk at work or becomes your cover photo or profile pic on Facebook. Great photos have stories behind them, and through their stories they keep the outdoor moment alive.

Meet Megan Johnson, a photographer from Idaho and an all-around outdoors girl. She captured the amazing shot show above with her compound bow and her Canon 5D Mark II camera on a tripod with a 10-second timer.

“It took about ten tries to get the focus and framing just right,” shared Megan, who has been shooting professional photos for about three years. “But I had an idea in my head of the shot. Getting the focus and perspective I envisioned was the biggest challenge.” Megan believes the right photo can give a moment justice, whether that moment is time at the range for archery practice or with game or fish afield. “All the hard work for a few seconds, having quality photos or video is the only way to memorialize the experience.”

Fellow professional photographer Randy Hoepner of Minnesota is also skilled at getting just the right shot outdoors. “I find as most people are leaving due to losing light or bad weather, I’m heading outdoors for the shot.” Randy dons his hunting gear—not just camo but rattling antlers and scent control—with camera. “I love getting out there and having the chance to maybe see something,” shared Randy. “Probably three-quarters of the time you don’t. And it is fleeting when you do. But I love to capture the shot.”

Randy Hoepner was at Yellowstone National Park’s Washburn Peak looking for bears when he watched some cows come in just as the snow started falling. Soon a bull elk showed up and gave Randy this shot. Good thing he got it when he did, as the Park Rangers closed the road shortly thereafter due to the snowy conditions. Image courtesy Randy Hoepner.

Randy’s passion comes full circle in a few of his wildlife photos shown here and on his website: the Elk in a snowstorm at Yellowstone National Park, the Trumpeter Swan on a -14 degrees Fahrenheit morning, and other stunning outdoor images (see more at www.randyhoepner.wix.com/randyhoepner).

Megan and Randy have a few pointers for those of us that want to improve our outdoor photos.

  • Avoid harsh, bright sunlight. Try early morning or just before dusk for softer, warmer light.
  • If it can’t be helped to take the shot in the middle of the day during bright sun, use shade if at all possible and add flash or reflective light on the face.
  • Get low—down at the same angle—on the water or down on the ground. Or try unique angles. Place the shot looking through or around something—a branch or a leaf—for depth and perspective.
  • Be ready. When the shot is there you have to take it quickly. Have your camera with you. If all else fails, use the camera on your phone.
  • Weather elements—especially snow—can magnify the artistry of your shot.

It was -14 degrees Fahrenheit in the early morning when Randy captured this Trumpeter Swan in motion. It was so cold Randy couldn’t stand it. The dramatic light with steam off the water and capturing the action with a super-fast shutter speed was quite the reward. Image courtesy Randy Hoepner.

The biggest key is being there, having the right equipment with you and taking a moment to prepare.

“Spend three minutes rather than thirty seconds and you will see a big difference in your outdoor photography,” shared Randy. “Even spending a little more time organizing or planning your shot with your cell phone camera is better than nothing. Be mindful of what is in the background. Move it or adjust your angle. And when taking shots with dead animals, be sure to wipe away any blood and put the tongue back in. You won’t be happy with anything else later on.”

With no fancy camera nearby, Megan used her iPhone for capturing this largemouth bass. There is little else in the background to distract from Megan and her bass and the diagonal composition adds a little pizzazz. Image courtesy Megan Johnson.

When it comes to gear, Randy and Megan both believe the camera’s lens makes all the difference.

“Buy the most expensive lens that you can afford,” advised Randy. His lens runs about $1,500-1,600 price range. There are some good ones for $300 to $400. Of course, you could drop several thousand dollars, too.

Most importantly, take a little time and plan your shots carefully. We can’t all be professional photographers, but we can take better outdoor photos, ones we will treasure for a lifetime and enjoy sharing. Let’s see if you don’t start seeing a few more Facebook likes from your family and friends for the photos you post with these great photography tips. And speaking of likes, how about a few for Megan and Randy’s art.

K.J. Houtman is author of the award-winning Fish On Kids Books series, chapter books for 8-12 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.

Read and join the discussion on The Art of the Shot at OutdoorHub.com.

Got a Story to Tell? Enter Husqvarna’s “Challenge the Impossible” Story Contest!

March 19, 2013

Got a Story to Tell? Enter Husqvarna’s “Challenge the Impossible” Story Contest!

Outdoorsmen and women, lend us your eyes–and your stories!

Husqvarna’s Challenge the Impossible Story Contest wants to hear your tales of triumph and overcoming adversity in the great outdoors. All you have to do is submit a story that is 150 words or less along with a picture.

Two lucky storytellers will win the hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime. The full rules and submission form can be found here, and a selection of the text is pasted below.

Husqvarna is about Challenging the Impossible. Trailblazing through paths less travelled; inspired by the pursuit of the challenges we face ahead. This philosophy has led to a long list of pioneering innovations for efficient, professional outdoor power equipment. Resulting in products that give you the self-confidence and capability to tackle every challenge out there, to make the impossible possible.

How did you challenge the impossible? Tell us your story. We want to hear from you on how you made the impossible possible by challenging it. Did you conquer an unruly lawn? Help neighbors or a community during a storm clean up? Climb Everest? Saved a green space? Entries do not have to be tied to the usage of a Husqvarna product (although we do love hearing stories where our product helped someone or was used).

In 150 words or less and a photo submission, please tell us how you challenged the impossible.

[...]

Prize Details

Two (2) winners will be selected. Each recipient will have their choice of the following trips fulfilled through Outdoor Hub:

Fall 2013 Deer Hunting OR Salmon Fishing Trip (Northern Michigan)

OR

Spring 2014 Steelhead Fishing or Turkey Hunting Trip (Northern Michigan)

OR

Fall 2013 Fishing Trip to world-class outdoors destination Pocahontas County, WV

OR

Spring 2014 Fishing trip to world-class outdoors destination Pocahontas County, WV

What are you waiting for? Head to Husqvarna’s site and submit your story now!

Read and join the discussion on Got a Story to Tell? Enter Husqvarna’s “Challenge the Impossible” Story Contest! at OutdoorHub.com.

Versatile Mega-lights Upgraded with LED Bulbs

February 22, 2013

Versatile Mega-lights Now Upgraded with LED Bulbs

Whether on the water or on the road, boaters, campers and fishing enthusiasts enjoy increased safety and comfort with Mega-Light Utility and Mega-Light Masthead models. Davis Instruments now offers the same great products upgraded with brighter, long-lasting and efficient LED bulbs.

The Mega-Light Utility/LED is equipped with a 15′ heavy-duty cord and fused lighter plug. The cord features a UL-approved strain-relief design, ensuring long life and reliable service. An adjustable bracket makes the Mega-Light Utility easy to hang wherever it’s needed.

The stationary Mega-Light Masthead/LED is pre-mounted to a stainless steel bracket, ready for installation with a 12″ lead wire. It’s ideal for marking a boat on a mooring or at anchor. An extra pre-drilled mounting hole easily accommodates a Davis Windex 15 wind vane base to conserve masthead space. When used on an interior wall or bulkhead, the Mega-Light serves as a security light to brighten stairways or entryways.

When hung upside down, the clear, convex lens top creates a flood light for area lighting. An automatic sensor switches the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Both models have a completely waterproof sealed lens and base and offer visibility up to 2 nautical miles.

For those who already own a Mega-Light and wish to upgrade, Davis Instruments offers a Replacement Bulb Kit. It includes both a new LED bulb and a spare incandescent bulb.

Always economical, the Davis Instruments Mega-Light Utility/LED retails for $49.99, while the Mega-Light Masthead/LED costs $52.99. The Replacement Bulb Kit is $6.99.

Read and join the discussion on Versatile Mega-lights Upgraded with LED Bulbs at OutdoorHub.com.

Pure Michigan Campaign Brings in $1 Billion

February 21, 2013

Pure Michigan Campaign Bring’s in $1 Billion

It’s no secret that Michigan’s economy has seen better days. While the auto and housing industries are still struggling Michigan, has turned to its greatest resource to help bring the state back to economic life.

The “Pure Michigan” campaign was created seven years ago in order to revitalize the state’s tourism industry.

Pure Michigan has highlighted every aspect of Michigan’s outdoor attractions. A quick perusal of recent Pure Michigan ads yields results for everything from snowsports to sandy beaches, and no shortage of ads highlighting Michigan’s excellent fishing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRkL700sOWE

Ads like the above have made Pure Michigan one of the most successful tourism campaigns of all time. According to Bridge Magazine, Pure Michigan has brought in 3.2 million out-of-state visitors who generated $1 billion dollars for Michigan’s economy in 2011 alone. Over 1 million of those visitors came from states outside the Great Lakes region.

Until 2011 Michigan’s tourism industry was primarily fueled by in-state travelers. The past two years have been bucked that trend as out-of-state visitors spent $600 millions more than their Mitten- and U.P.-dwelling counterparts.

George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. doesn’t think Pure Michigan is slowing down any time soon.

“We believe that our potential to get a bigger and bigger share of the national travel market, especially for summer travel, is enormous. In some ways I feel like we’re just getting started.”

Outdoor Hub joined forces with Pure Michigan this year to help spread the word about the state’s great natural resources. Check out our dedicated U.P.-focused snow sports page here.

Read and join the discussion on Pure Michigan Campaign Brings in $1 Billion at OutdoorHub.com.

Arizona’s SB 1223 (License Simplification) Passes Vote of Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee

February 10, 2013

Arizona’s SB 1223 (License Simplification) Passes Vote of Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s legislation, Senate Bill 1223, to allow the commission to set future license structure and fees (including all licenses types, permits, tags, stamps and watercraft registrations) directly through a streamlined, customer-focused process, as opposed to the existing complex legislative and rulemaking processes, was passed unanimously by the Arizona Senate’s Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee on Feb. 6.

The bill, which is supported by numerous sportsmen’s organizations, will next receive a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee, possibly in the next two weeks.

Customers have asked for a simpler license structure. The complexity of the current structure has been identified as a barrier to hunter and angler recruitment and retention. The existing process for changing license structure is complex and time-consuming, and it prevents timely reaction to changing customer needs or conditions. Currently, the commission needs legislative approval (i.e., passage of a bill) to revise the license structure, even to offer discounts. If the bill passes, the commission then must go through a regular rulemaking process to implement the structure. All of this can take three or more years to complete.

If SB 1223 were to pass, license structure and fees would be established through a new customer-focused rulemaking process. It would not require passage of a bill through the Legislature, although the commission would still be under legislative oversight. The bill includes oversight measures and “checks and balances” on the commission’s authority to set license structure and fees under this new authority.

Benefits of SB 1223 include:

  • A simpler, easier to understand license structure. More than 40 license types that currently exist could be significantly decreased in number to reduce customer confusion.
  • Better products, increased value. A 365-day license could be offered rather than a calendar year license, or licenses could bundle stamp privileges.
  • Flexibility. The commission could react more quickly in response to customer needs, marketing opportunities or biological factors — examples might include reduced prices for large numbers of leftover tags or temporarily discounting license fees as incentives. 
  • Hunter and angler input. Direct customer access and input opportunities with the five-member Game and Fish Commission.

You can learn more about SB 1223 and view answers to frequently asked questions by visiting www.azgfd.gov/LicenseSimplification

Read and join the discussion on Arizona’s SB 1223 (License Simplification) Passes Vote of Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee at OutdoorHub.com.

International Summit Evaluates Value of Outdoors to Society

January 9, 2013

International Summit Evaluates Value of Outdoors to Society

Today, all around the world, the outdoors is being challenged with pressures from every angle including; education, environment, cultural and economic. Those who work in the outdoors are all too aware of these issues. New Zealand is the mecca for the world’s outdoors adventurers. Rotorua is its Maori cultural heartland and a hotspot for the outdoors, making it the ideal location to discuss contemporary issues surrounding the value the outdoors brings to our society. It is here that members of the international outdoors community will gather at The World Outdoors Summit 2013 from 18-22 November to share, discuss and present how to resolve those challenges. The World Outdoors Summit is the best opportunity for the global outdoors community come together and ensure that lifelong recreation habits in the outdoors remain an important, relevant and valued part of our societies.

The event, hosted by Outdoors New Zealand, is expected to attract some 350 delegates from New Zealand, North America, Australia and Europe.

Outdoors New Zealand CEO Garth Dawson says that the summit is designed for the entire professional outdoors community and offers a range of workshops, panels, seminars and networking opportunities.

“The World Outdoors Summit is our opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and initiatives on resolving those challenges to ensure that lifelong recreation habits in the outdoors remain an important, relevant and valued part of our societies,” he says.

The summit’s theme “The value of the outdoors to society” follows on from the theme of The Outdoors Forum 2012, which was hosted by Outdoors New Zealand in October 2012 with a full capacity delegation.

Presentations will include:

  • Strategies and tactics on how to ‘sell’ the outdoors without compromising its intrinsic value,
  • Success stories around gaining public, government or commercial support, sponsorships, partnerships or funding,
  • Completed research that proves the value that outdoors education, outdoors recreation and adventure tourism brings to our society.

Mr Dawson says that The World Outdoors Summit will incorporate several streams focused on the summit’s central theme. The planning committee is currently seeking presentations across all of these streams; outdoor education, outdoor recreation, adventure tourism, sustainability and environment, and risk and safety management.

Confirmed speakers include Dr Ihirangi Heke – indigenous outdoor education consultant, Paora Te Hurihanganui – general manager of Te Arawa Sports Foundation and Dr Robyn Zink – researcher for the Centre for Recreation Research.

Meritorious papers may be invited to submit to a special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Outdoor Education (NZJOE).

Mr Dawson says the four-day event will include an entire day of plenary sessions dedicated to Māori and bushcraft-based content being held outdoors in the Rotorua region. There will also be an awards gala dinner held to celebrate New Zealand’s outstanding outdoors community.

He says not to forget the greater goal beyond growing our community.

“More people enjoying a quality experience in the outdoors means that we, in turn, create a healthier, wealthier and smarter international community.

“The outcomes of the overall value project will be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s an opportunity to reclaim an important stake in society and the future development of our countries.”

The call for speakers closes on 1 April 2013. Early bird registrations open May 2013 and close 18 September 2013. To submit an abstract for presentation, register as a delegate or for more info go to: www.wos2013.com

Outdoors New Zealand, a registered charity and non-profit incorporated in 1997, is the peak organisation providing leadership and support to the outdoor recreation, outdoor education and adventure tourism community.

Its growing community of approximately 100 member organisations cover all aspects of the outdoors community including clubs, not-for-profit organisations, commercial organisations, as well as professional, affiliated, and standards-setting associations at national, regional and local levels.

Read and join the discussion on International Summit Evaluates Value of Outdoors to Society at OutdoorHub.com.

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