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Your Voice of the Outdoors

OWAA President Mark Freeman joins me for a joint post about how OWAA works for you.St. Mary's Fall

An important part of any outdoor communicator’s job is to inform the public about the health of our forests, the status of our wildlife populations and the way public lands are managed. For OWAA and its members it is a duty we take seriously and a service upon which the public relies.

That’s why when a proposed directive by the U.S. Forest Service threatened access for outdoor communicators to designated wilderness areas, OWAA sprang into action, advocating on behalf of our membership and all outdoor journalists. We saw it as a threat to our members, and an attack on our First Amendment rights.

We spoke directly to U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell weighing in on the importance of access and the service our members and other journalists provide to the public.

To his credit, Tidwell recognized OWAA and its membership as the “voice of the outdoors,” asking for suggestions for better wording for the directive and continued involvement as the agency works to protect America’s wild places, while recognizing the importance and rights of journalists.

You can read more about our conversation with Tidwell in the upcoming December/January issue of Outdoors Unlimited.

In the meantime, we encourage members to read the proposed directive and provide comments before the Dec. 3, 2014, deadline. You can email comments directly to

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