The National Deer Association (NDA) is pleased to announce a $150,000 grant from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund to benefit important local and regional conservation projects that will help ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting.
The landmark grant, enabled by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and generous Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s customers who contribute to the Outdoor Fund, will expand NDA’s nationwide initiative “Improving Access, Habitat and Deer Hunting on Public Lands.” This unique NDA project will improve habitat, wildlife populations and hunting opportunities on public lands through the expertise of NDA and its conservation partners, including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
“We are incredibly appreciative of the generous support of Johnny Morris and the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, which will help us accomplish important work on the ground for deer and hunters,” said Nick Pinizzotto, President and CEO of NDA. “The fund and the organizations it helped over the years has had an immeasurable positive impact on fish and wildlife conservation, and we’re proud to be part of it.”
Like the NDA, the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Outdoor Fund encourages more than 200 million Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s customers to round up purchases to support conservation partners and projects that advocate for sportsmen’s rights, connect new audiences to the outdoors, and protect and conserve wildlife habitat across North America, a mission that closely aligns with the NDA’s.
“Thanks to the leadership of our founder Johnny Morris and the generosity of our sporting customers, this grant is a win for all who love deer and deer hunting,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Senior Director of Conservation. “Alongside our partners at the NDA, this is a landmark investment in public land hunting and deer habitat that will benefit generations to come.”
Support from the Outdoor Fund will allow the NDA to accelerate important work addressing landscape-level access and forest health issues, reaching a goal of improving 1 million acres of public land by 2026, at least five years ahead of earlier expectations. Through an agreement, NDA, USFS and shared stewardship coordinators mutually identify and select proposed projects for completion on public lands across the country. These efforts are guided by USFS land management objectives and NDA’s conservation priorities and may include any or all of the following techniques, based on local and regional needs: fire abatement strategies and/or prescribed fire treatments; various forms of vegetation management (such as timber thinning) to promote healthy forests; watershed restoration and maintenance; control of noxious and exotic species and the reestablishment of native species; recreational facility management; and, road and trail maintenance or decommissioning to restore and improve water quality.
Work has already begun in Kentucky and Mississippi impacting an estimated 55,000 to 65,000 acres, and NDA and USFS are on track to have projects in six states totaling 175,000 to 265,000 acres in 2022. The NDA was previously awarded $180,000 in funding to jump-start the initiative in 2021 through an anonymous donor.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”