10.26.10 | ATA's Jay McAninch Honored For Conservation Leadership
New Ulm, Minn. - Jay McAninch, Archery Trade Association President/CEO was honored at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Annual Conference, Sept. 28, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"If I had to use one word to describe Jay, it would probably be ‘visionary,'" said Carol Bambery, general counsel for AFWA. "He is definitely a big picture guy. And he motivates and inspires people. He brings out the best in people."
McAninch received the Special Recognition Award at a conference banquet attended by an estimated 600 conservation leaders including all of the state directors, all major conservation oriented non-governmental organizations and a significant number of upper-level managers in these agencies and organizations.
"Jay is highly recognized as a leader in the archery and shooting sports industry," said John Frampton, past AFWA president and director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. "His leadership has been a key to bringing state fish and wildlife agencies and the industry together so that topics such as recruitment, retention and funding through excise taxes can be discussed and better understood and appreciated by all parties."
Bambery said McAninch always recognized a lack of communication between the people who paid the federal excise taxes and those entities that spent this revenue to conserve wildlife and sustain shooting and hunting. "Jay got that," she said. "Very early on, he began to bring minds together so we could ultimately figure out a national strategy to get all these groups to work together." Just this year, McAninch was a key player in forming the newly established Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports. The council will work to boost efforts to recruit and retain new shooters and hunters in America.
"Jay's leadership has contributed to an enhanced spirit of cooperation between the state fish and wildlife agencies and industry," said Frampton. "Without his leadership and persistence in establishing the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports, this council would never have seen the light of day. His commitment and dedication toward getting the Council established has been a motivation for many of us."
Before accepting his current position with the ATA in 2000, McAninch led wildlife research programs on topics ranging from white-tailed deer to Lyme disease to bowhunting. The Iowa native worked for the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York and for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources before moving to Washington, D.C., to direct the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.
"I don't go to work everyday to be recognized and I can honestly say I want badly for our staff and our Board members - who all work very hard to advance our agenda - to enjoy this recognition," said McAninch. "I was completely surprised and really touched by this award. It's heartwarming to work at something you care about and have that work noticed by your peers. I am very grateful and thank all those involved in putting the award together."
During the award presentation, AFWA noted that the restoration of North American Wildlife Resources and the development of the best wildlife conservation and management programs in the world are due in no small part to the willingness of the sporting, firearms, fishing, archery and boating manufactures to tax their products and to proactively put their political support behind conservation legislation.
The following are highlight's of McAninch's leadership and achievements in the conservation community as written by AFWA and read at the banquet in recognition of McAninch.
"AFWA's recognition and this award underscores the critical position of the ATA as an industry partner with the state wildlife agencies and the importance of continuing to build this relationship and joint efforts to recruit and retain archery and bowhunters," said McAninch.
Did You Know?
The ATA created the Bowhunting Preservation Alliance bowhunting books, whose net proceeds from sales support school, after-school and community archery programs. These funds also help maintain archery ranges.