While Hispanics make up more than 17% of the nation's population, a 2013 outdoor recreation report shows that only 7% of those who participate in outdoor recreation are Hispanic. Even fewer Hispanics, about 4%, engage in fish and wildlife restoration and conservation.
Is it a lack of interest on the part of the Hispanic community or a lack of outreach by the restoration and recreation organizations and industries that has fostered this gap?
Members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledge that while Hispanics are affected by the issues USFWS addresses just as much as their neighbors, neither the government nor outdoor industries have reached out to this rapidly growing U.S. population segment.
While initiatives to increase diversity in the USFWS's 10,000-member workforce within the Department of Interior is a continuing process, no bureau within the department had specifically addressed diversity in consumer and participant involvement, until six months ago, says Noemi Pérez of the USFWS Office of Partner Liaison.