Trappers routinely ask me, "What can I do to help support ATA?" There are many ways to answer that question:
- Become a member -- If you're a member of ATA, you've already taken an important step. By banding together and adding your name to our membership roster, you've helped make ATA stronger. Those membership numbers really mean something when we testify to the Board of Game or contact a legislator for help.
- Recruit more members -- Another great way to help build strength is to recruit new members. If each one of us could recruit one new member per year, we would become a force to be reckoned with. Both supporters and opponents would notice the tremendous growth in ATA.
- Volunteer -- Here in Fairbanks, there are always tasks (both big and small) that need to be done. I assume the situation is similar in the other communities where ATA has groups meeting on a regular basis. The first step is to make your local leaders aware that you want to help. We'll do our best to find a project that meets your talents and available time. You'll feel good afterward and you'll be helping to build a stronger ATA.
- Write an article -- For the past few years, I've been telling members that one of the most valuable contributions they can make is to write an article for our magazine. We are often told that our magazine is the glue that binds our organization together. Its value cannot be over-stated. We all like to read great articles in the magazine. Those articles don't appear out of thin air. Somebody has to sit down at the keyboard to compose their thoughts and share their experiences and insight. We all see and learn things on the 'line that would be of interest to fellow trappers. Take a few minutes to put words together and send them to us.
- Be an ethical trapper -- Conduct your trapping activities in compliance with the highest ethical standards. Every year, we have to deal with incidents where traps are set in inappropriate places. Those incidents give every trapper a black eye in the view of the general public and eat up a tremendous amount of our time and energy. Be sure that you aren't one of the trappers causing these problems. In addition, help us police the ranks. If you know of a trapper who is skirting the edge of legality or you learn of a trap placed in a heavily-used area, then please intercede on behalf of ATA. Don't take the trap. Don't yell at the trapper. Just step in and try to rectify the situation in a professional manner.
We all want to see trapping continue on into the indefinite future. You can help that vision be a reality by investing a little time and effort into making ATA a bigger, better, stronger organization. It will pay dividends in the long run.