By: Brian Bohnsack
The following is an internal email we received from the U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe regarding the signing yesterday of a MOU with LULAC. The MOU does include a focus point of LULAC's desire to get more Hispanic population fishing and outdoors. The Service has worked diligently with LULAC to shapre this newly developing partnership to include fishing and we have received comments from our field staff and some important state agnecy partners about their interest in potentially assisting with our to be developed fishing promotion efforts. Here is the note from Director Ashe:
The history of the United States, and the relationship of its people to the land, has been shaped for centuries by men and women of Hispanic descent. That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the historic contributions of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States – and by working to forge and strengthen the connection Americans of Hispanic and Latino descent have with their natural heritage.
Just today, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC), the nation’s oldest Latino advocacy group. Together, we will work to increase participation by Latino families and kids in fishing and other outdoor recreation, and engage Latinos in monarch butterfly conservation.
This new partnership is more than just a piece of paper – it’s a shared statement of our values, and an expression of our joint determination to strengthen the relationship of Latinos in the United States to their natural heritage.
From the Californios of Alta California, to the Hispanos of New Mexico and Tejanos of Texas, to theBorinquén of Puerto Rico, Latinos have a historic and cultural connection to our nation that in many cases predates that of the descendants of those who sailed on the Mayflower.
Latinos represent a vibrant and growing segment of the U.S. population. In the future, they will have an enormous influence on the decisions we make as a society regarding the future allocation and management of natural resources, including wildlife. We want to make sure that we welcome Latino families and kids to the National Wildlife Refuge System, and that they can connect with nature no matter where they live. The health and well-being of these children will benefit immeasurably from the experiences they have in the natural world, away from the noise and distraction of modern life.
We also want to help Latino children explore careers in wildlife conservation – and to recruit young adults from the Latino Community to join the Fish and Wildlife Service. We’re working to create a professional workforce for the future that reflects our nation’s growing diversity – one that can help Americans of all backgrounds connect with nature. As part of this partnership, the Service will participate in LULAC’s Federal Training Institute, which will help identify and connect promising young people with career development opportunities and job openings in our agency.
Together, we will strengthen the historic bond Latinos have with the land and wildlife of our nation – and in doing so, strengthen our ability to carry out our agency’s mission and sustain our shared natural heritage for all Americans.