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For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Sawyer Connelly

Virtual R3 Forum Highlights successes, challenges, and connections during Covid-19

(Washington, D.C.) – The Virtual R3 Forum, held August 26-27, 2020, and hosted by the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, occurred with generous support as it offered a virtual space to connect state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, outdoor recreation industries, conservation non-profits, and the entire R3 Community. The event focused on the challenges and successes for recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts brought on by COVID-19 in 2020. 449 individuals were in attendance throughout the two-day event. Those attendees represented more than 150 different organizations, including over 35 state fish and wildlife agencies, numerous outdoor industries, conservation NGOs, and outdoor media.

“2020 is a unique year for our Community, as COVID-19 has presented many challenges. Through the Forum, we learned that there are many opportunities this fall to retain participants and continue to advance national R3 efforts with our partners’ support and collaboration. The Council is so thankful to the presenters and attendees for showing up for this event and providing the much-needed community connections that will carry our colleagues forward this fall and into 2021,” commented Samantha Pedder, Director of Operations for the Council.

On Wednesday, August 26, the first session offered attendees insight into the stark realities – both positive and negative – our greater Community has faced with the onset of COVID-19. Panelists included Joe Bartozzi of National Shooting Sports Foundation, Becky Humphries of National Wild Turkey Federation, Liz Ogilvie of American Sportfishing Association, and Mike Fowlks of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. The panel was moderated by Council Board Chairman and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Director, J.D. Strong.

Other highlights from the Forum included a conversation on “Retaining a Community” with Marcia Brownlee of Artemis Sportswomen, Howard Vincent of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, and Adrian Angulo of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; and “Marketing to Retain Customers” with John Kenney of NBC Universal Media. All seven sessions from the Forum have been highly praised for the quality of the presentations and speakers. If you missed the Forum, worry not! Videos of each session are now available on the Council’s YouTube channel.

This event accomplished many things, and of more importance, it allowed the collective R3 Community to address the challenges we have faced and will continue to face together during these strange times. To see more outcomes from the Virtual R3 Forum, including presentations and other important information, or to stay up to date on all things R3, join the National R3 Community. Council staff will continue to facilitate conversations and networking events for members of this professional Community, and it invites colleagues to join the discussion in the coming months.