The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced this week that they have entered a collaboration to grow the sport of fishing across the United States. The partnership was sealed on July 21 at the ICAST tradeshow in Orlando, Fla., when the organizations signed an agreement that focuses on recruiting, retaining and reactivating anglers throughout the country.
MLF and the USA, through the agreement, will seek opportunities for angler recruitment, retention and reactivation utilizing each entity’s staff and vast reservoir of member volunteers to plan and execute local and state fishing events, MLF fishing events and USA conservation projects and community-based outreach events.
“Major League Fishing’s partnership with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance builds on MLF’s commitment to extending the life of the sport of bass fishing and providing fans, anglers and youth with access to educational materials to help them become better stewards of our fisheries resources,” said MLF President and CEO Jim Wilburn. “As the sport’s premier tournament-fishing organization, we're proud to work alongside the USA in their support of angler recruitment and their Take Kids Fishing program.”
MLF, with its portfolio of professional and amateur bass fishing tournaments, social media networks and popular television shows on several major networks reaches millions of fishing fanatics and outdoor enthusiasts each year. Through its strong volunteer workforce and support from its 17 affiliates and charter unions, the USA has completed nearly 300 volunteer projects and community outreach events since 2010. It’s youth-centered fishing program alone exposes thousands of school-age children in urban and rural communities to the sport of fishing each year.
“Introducing youth and their families to a life-long love and appreciation for angling and clean water has become a big part of how the USA delivers its mission,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance. “This historic partnership with Major League Fishing will enable our Take Kids Fishing program and angling access infrastructure projects to grow faster than ever before.”
“Through its Work Boots on the Ground conservation program, the USA reaches into local communities – including urban areas – to create access and new outdoor opportunities, including fishing, to groups that may not otherwise get to enjoy those experiences,” said Forrest Parker, USA Director of Conservation and Communications. “Combining the USA’s workforce of union volunteers who share a passion for the outdoors with the resources of the MLF will propel both of our organization’s efforts to pass on the fishing heritage to a whole new level.”