“Getting kids outdoors and in touch with nature is critical today when it seems like our lives are driven by smartphones,” said Pastor Juan Almaza with Centro de Adoracion Familiar. “We all share the moral responsibility of serving as stewards for our public lands and waterways, and there is nothing better than an active, first-hand experience to prepare our youth for that role.”
Latinos make up nearly 28 percent of Nevada’s largest ethnic population, yet only a fraction of the state’s anglers are Latino – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates that only about 9 percent of the nation’s Latinos fish. Events like this one at Lake Mead look to provide a strong conservation initiative balanced with the cultural and economic needs of 21st century life. Additionally, the event not only helps introduce the wonders of the natural environment, which for many is just a short drive away, but it also teaches the youth how to respect and protect what they will come to enjoy so much.
“The future of fishing and boating depends on engaging younger, diverse audiences. We’re happy to provide such an amazing opportunity to help organizations in reaching the Hispanic market,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson.
The 6th annual Latino Conservation Week (LCW), an initiative from Hispanic Access Foundation, every year inspires Latinos connect with parks, landscapes, rivers and wildlife, but also teaches more about their responsibility as environmental stewards. LCW, which this year was celebrated with more than 150 events nationwide, encourages and supports collaboration between a variety of partners including, individuals, organizations, businesses, churches and government agencies. The week also highlighted how important the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is to providing Latinos with access to the outdoors
“LWCF funded sites are everywhere – from local community parks, pools and trails to some of our greatest national parks, forests and Refuges. Lake Mead, like more than 42,000 other sites nationwide, has received financial support through LWCF, which supports the development, expansion and maintenance of these sites and ultimately makes these locations accessible,” said Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “Failing to keep LWCF’s funding healthy and up to par with the bipartisan funding commitment of 54 years ago jeopardizes the long-term access to these sites for many Latinos and other diverse rural and urban communities.”
While LWCF doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime since it is funded through offshore oil and gas royalties, its annual allocation, which is capped at $900 million, must be authorized by Congress, which has fully-funded LWCF only once in its 54-year history. Hispanic Access Foundation has appreciated Sen. Cortez Masto, Sen. Rosen, and Rep. Lee’s leadership on the permanent reauthorization of LWCF and encourage them to continue taking the lead in the effort to permanently fund this critical conservation and recreation program that is overwhelmingly supported by Latino communities and has benefitted Nevada greatly.