The NMMA and other fishing and outdoors organisations have signed an “unprecedented” memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the US Forest Service (USFS) to promote boating, fishing and other outdoor activities on public lands and waterways. The MOU was created to develop and expand cooperation among the participating parties for planning and implementing mutually beneficial projects and activities to promote recreational fishing and boating on national waterways.

"Anglers and recreational boaters help bolster many local economies in the pursuit of these American pastimes," said US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in a statement. "We want to make sure to encourage more people to cast out their lines and get their boats out on the water. Partnerships like this are vital as we work to increase access to public lands and waters and pass on these traditions to future generations.”

“The MOU provides a tremendous opportunity to work together with our partners in the outdoors and the Department of the Interior to ensure sufficient access and conservation of our nation’s public waterways,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich in the statement. “Waterway access and conservation are critical to recreational boating – an industry made up of nearly 650,000 people who help deliver an estimated $121bn in annual economic impact in the US each year.”

Some efforts that may take place because of the MOU include increased volunteerism on public lands, improved quality of aquatic and riparian resources, improved recreational fishing experiences, and increased educational programs for recreational fishing and fisheries.

Fishing and boating participation numbers look good right now, but with all of the demographic changes taking place in our country, and the rapidly growing use of technology, we’ve all got to up our game,” said RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson. “This partnership is a fantastic start to a cooperative effort on the national, regional and local level to ensure fishing and boating participation thrive for years to come, supporting critical state agency wildlife management efforts.”