Is there an outdoor racial divide?
Even though the population of the U.S. has become more diverse, it seems those enjoying the outdoors through hobbies like camping, hiking, fishing and hunting remain mostly non-hispanic white.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that in 2006, a total of 96 percent of hunters, 93 percent of wildlife watchers and 92 percent of anglers were white.
Research done by The Outdoor Foundation found a similar trend. The foundation reported that even when expanding outdoor recreation to include everything from hiking and camping to canoeing and skateboarding, 80 percent of outdoor recreationists across all ages nationwide are white.
"Our future environmental stewards, our future outdoor consumers, our future outdoor workforce, will be increasingly minority," said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. "If they've never pedaled a bike or paddled a stream, outdoor recreation and the environmental resources of this country are at risk, in my view."
Outdoor enthusiasts, like Atlanta's Audrey Peterman who organized a conference on breaking the color barrier in the great outdoors last year, told the newspaper that officials and companies have to reach out and educate minority groups about outdoor activities and opportunities.