Skip to main content
IWG July Des Moines Meeting

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2020

Media Contact: Sawyer Connelly

On September 14, 2020, more than 30 members of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup were recognized during the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Annual Awards with a 2020 Special Recognition Award. This collection of talented R3 professionals were selected for this recognition because of their dedication and commitment to advancing national efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate (R3) hunters, target shooters, and other outdoor recreationists.

“In 2018, the members of this workgroup committed to change the way R3 was addressed in the nation, and in less than two years have had a significant impact on the national R3 initiative,” commented John Frampton, CEO and President of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, the organization which facilitates the work of the group.

Since 2018, these individuals, representing state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, conservation non-profits, and industry partners, have collaborated as part of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup (IWG) to address critical barriers impeding progression in state, regional, and national R3 efforts. Before this group’s efforts, many R3 initiatives had failed because of a lack of coordination, collaboration, and communication. This group began with a determination to address these issues specifically, and each member has worked tirelessly, above their regular jobs, to dedicate more than 3,500 hours to this commitment.

In July 2019, the IWG released a report of 10 key R3 Implementation Priorities. This essential report was used as critical evidence of the need for increased funding for R3 efforts, and as such, was used by partners to ask Congress to pass the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act in late 2019. Additionally, this group’s work laid the foundation for strategic priorities to allocate the first two rounds of funding through the Modern Multistate Conservation Grants this summer, resulting in more than $7 million dedicated to regional and national R3 efforts. Since 2019 the workgroup has also continued its efforts and will release five new products in the coming months which address some of the top R3 Implementation Priorities identified in the 2019 report.

“These individuals have made great progress together, and this award highlights their many accomplishments in addressing national R3 challenges,” commented Samantha Pedder, Director of Council Operations. “This recognition by their colleagues in the conservation profession for their time and effort is a great honor, and we are so proud of the members and of the work they have done. They truly are helping our community to move forward, and the Council looks forward to continuing to work with these professionals in 2021 and beyond.”

Members of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup honored last night include:

Name Company
Alex Baer International Hunter Education Association
Emily Beach USA Archery
Jen Benedet California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Taniya Bethke South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
Kristen Black Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
Marcia Brownlee Artemis Sportswomen – National Wildlife Federation
Mike Christensen Pass It On! Outdoor Mentors
Brian Clark Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Jim Curcuruto National Shooting Sports Foundation
Trey Curtiss Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Kyle Daly U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Matt Dunfee Wildlife Management Institute
Mary Emmons USA Archery
Charles Evans Georgia Wildlife Federation
Hank Forester Quality Deer Management Association
Josh Gold Archery Trade Association
Mandy Harling National Wild Turkey Federation
Eddie Herndon Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
Mike Hobson Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Micah Holmes Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Stephanie Hussey Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Colby Kerber Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever
Scott Lavin Arizona Game and Fish Department
Kris McCarthy Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Aaron Mize U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Joe Mullin Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Liz Ogilvie American Sportfishing Association
Samantha Pedder Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
Jeff Rawlinson Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Chris Willard Sovereign Sportsman Solutions
Megan Wisecup Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Jenifer Wisniewski Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Jon Zinnel Federal Ammunition

In the coming months, the IWG will release the first round of solutions it has created to help move R3 efforts forward. Members of the IWG highlighted these products in a special video session at the 2020 Virtual R3 Forum in August. To learn more about the work of this group and the members, please visit