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88 years of OWAA

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OWAA turned 88 on April 9 and in celebration I took some time to reflect on the organization’s origins, what it looks like today and where it’s headed. From the beginning OWAA had four objectives:
1. Acquaintanceship and communication between writers in the outdoor field, with exchange of ideas, experiences and information.
2. Promotional and educational work to expand outdoor coverage in the nation’s media.
3. Focusing public attention on the field of conservation.
4. Craft improvement of its individual members. Reading those objectives online in the article “The Story of an Organization a Profession,” owaa.org/story organization-profession, I thought particularly about the second one.
The work of our members and supporters is as important today as it was 88 years ago — perhaps that is why the organization has lasted so long. But are we doing enough to “to expand outdoor coverage in the nation’s media.”
Should we be looking for new and better ways to get more outdoor coverage in the media? If so, how?
I’d love to hear from you about how you are expanding coverage and what we at OWAA can do to support you.
The way we deliver information is changing, but OWAA’s mission in supporting outdoor communication remains steadfast, as does its dedication to conservation.
An early version of the article “The Story of an Organization and a Profession,” reads, “Concern over the environment has projected the outdoor writer into the forefront as one qualified to create an awareness on the part of the public of the need for the wise use of the outdoors.
Conservation, hunting, fishing and camping remain basic, along with their allied skills and studies dealing with the enjoyment and conservation of the resources making up the vast outdoors.” Those words are still in the updated-version of the article and hold true to our organization today. Birthdays and anniversaries are a great time to reflect on the past, but they also offer a chance to look forward.
Colleen Miniuk-Sperry’s article on page 5 is a must read in this issue. She covers our recent member benefit survey, highlighting the value of OWAA, but also outlining how it will grow and change to ensure another 88 years of success. ♦
— OWAA Executive Director Tom Sadler, tsadler@owaa.org
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