Wild Harvest Initiative

What is the Wild Harvest Initiative?

“Conservation Visions’ Wild Harvest Initiative® is the first serious effort to evaluate the combined economic, conservation, and social benefits of recreational wild animal harvests in modern American and Canadian societies.”

The Nevada Department of Wildlife as well as many other state wildlife agencies, conservation Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and a variety of outdoor industry leaders have partnered in support of the Wild Harvest Initiative.

Why do wild harvested foods matter?

Wild harvested foods positively contribute to human health, increase our food security, and provide ecological, environmental, social, as well as economic benefits to all Americans. The Wild Harvest Initiative is a collaborative effort to better define what those benefits are and to share that information broadly.

Food Security – Food security is when a person has physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle (World Food Summit, 1996).  Food insecurity affects more than 48 million Americans (USDA, 2017). Wild harvested foods are relied on by many Americans as a source of healthy, oftentimes locally sourced nutritious food.

Human Health – Recreational wild food harvest contributes to human nutrition, physical health and fitness, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, and foraging promote physical fitness and mental well-being derived from the time spent outside in nature. A 2010 study found that even five minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem.

Ecological and Environmental Benefits – Not only do wild places provide us with sustainable food resources and a means to improve both our mental and physical health but functioning ecosystems also provide us with water to drink and air to breathe. Conserving these places benefits everyone.

Animal Health and Welfare – Wild animals live their lives for years and sometimes decades depending on the species in a natural state of complete freedom. An animal’s death through hunting or fishing is a quick and humane death that does not involve extended periods of stress or a life of confinement. In the range of alternatives providing for meat consumption, hunting and angling are among the most humane methods of harvest.

Food Disconnect – Many people are disconnected from nature and are unfamiliar or out of touch with the origins of their food. Processed and pre-packaged foods, available for sale at supermarkets and restaurants, now dominate the North American cultural landscape and for most Americans the traditional relationship between food acquisition and consumption has been drastically altered. The Wild Harvest Initiative is working to reconnect more people to their food and share the benefits of wild harvested food with everyone.

Where can I learn more about the Wild Harvest Initiative?

As a partner and supporter of the Wild Harvest Initiative we will regularly update this webpage with new information. We will share information on wild food harvest specific to Nevada as well as provide updates from the national scale.To find out more about the Wild Harvest Initiative you can also visit  https://thewildharvestinitiative.com/

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