(Caption | Austin community hero and IUPAT Local 1178 member Robin DeHaven was given the opportunity to hunt Colorado Elk on the first season of the USA’s Brotherhood Outdoors TV show for his heroic efforts during the terrorist attack on a Texas IRS building in 2010.)
With record membership numbers on the books, the addition of major national sponsors and international charter unions, the expansion of their popular shooting tour, the launch of a nationally televised show and the implementation of a new conservation program the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) boasted a banner year in 2011.
The USA began with an idea formed over a simple conversation at dinner. When it opened its doors in 2007, a handful of union members joined. They were followed by a few hundred and then a few thousand. In September, with a nationwide membership campaign sponsored by Cabela’s, the USA signed up its 25,000th member since inception—marking a tipping point for the organization in 2011.
With more than 70% of union members expressing an interest in hunting, fishing or shooting, the organization also teamed up with Sportsman Channel to launch Brotherhood Outdoors—a unique outdoor TV series that pairs union worker’s commitment to their communities with their love for the great outdoors and rewards them with a guided hunting or fishing trip in North America or the opportunity to take host Tom Ackerman to their own honey holes.
Made possible through the generous support of seven international unions and corporate sponsors like Buck Knives and Burris/Steiner, the show offers the USA a national platform to promote their commitment to protecting North America’s hunting and fishing heritage, public access and wildlife habitat.
With strong support from the union community and national sponsors like Chevy, the USA expanded its popular shooting tour to 25 markets in 2011. Debuting a Silverado 3500 HD and new shooting events trailer in June, the USA traveled to 16 markets in 12 states—covering nearly 10,000 miles during the summer and fall of 2011 and introducing hundreds of new individuals to the shooting sports.
“We feel privileged to have the unique support of the international unions and so many nationally recognized partners,” said USA Deputy Director Mike d’Oliveira. “Over the last four years, their support and commitment has significantly enhanced our efforts to not only grow our organization and support our members’ needs but encourages greater participation in hunting, fishing and the shooting sports across North America.”
The USA also wrapped up its first full year of Boots on the Ground (BOTG)—a unique conservation program that connects union volunteers with local, state and national wildlife and conservation organizations in need of skilled labor. Union volunteers are working on or have completed 14 projects in 12 states including Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio Illinois and more. Projects range from a new trail bridge in South Dakota to a special needs youth whitetail hunt in Ohio, a wildlife viewing tower in Alaska and numerous other projects that promote public access or the protection of wildlife habitat.
As the USA looks towards its 5th anniversary in 2012, it hopes to continue its efforts to unite the millions of active and retired labor union members who hunt, fish, shoot and spend time outdoors into one of the largest hunting and fishing conservation organizations in the country.
For more information on the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, visit http://www.unionsportsmen.org.
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The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated outdoor organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the Union community to expand and improve hunting and fishing access and wildlife habitat throughout North America. For more information, visit http://www.unionsportsmen.org or http://www.facebook.com/unionsportsmen.