A Pickerington resident and lifelong outdoor enthusiast recently was tapped to lead the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance's fundraising and member recruitment efforts.

A Pickerington resident and lifelong outdoor enthusiast recently was tapped to lead the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance's fundraising and member recruitment efforts.

Growing up on a Marion, Ohio, farm, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities were a regular part of life for Dan Smith.

Now 52 and a 12-year resident of Pickerington, Smith will be able to apply his longtime interests as named relationship director for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, a post he was named to last month.

The alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen's organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs.

His duties will include fundraising for the organization, as well as assisting with its membership development.

He also will fill the same role for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, a nonprofit offshoot of the alliance, which seeks to raise money for the alliance's legal defense and public education funds.

"I'm very proud and very happy," Smith said. "It's a great organization and I really believe in their missions."

Smith is a certified fundraising professional (CFRE) with more than 14 years experience generating money for various organizations.

Prior to joining the alliance and its foundation, he was resource development director for the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in business technologies management from DeVry University in Columbus and he has associate of applied business degrees in marketing management and retail management.

"He's going to be helping us reach out to current and new folks to raise money to maintain and make sure we have the necessary resources to defend hunting and fishing nationwide," said Greg R. Lawson, communications director for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "He has a real solid background working with organizations that have to have these relationships. He'll be able to reach out to a wide range of people."

Smith lives in Pickerington with his wife, Lisa, two daughters, Kassie and Jenna, and his black lab-border collie, Macy.

He said he hopes to help the alliance and foundation "move to the next level" by ensuring the rights of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, including hunters, anglers, trappers, farmers, ranchers, lumberjacks and others, are protected.

"The alliance is responsible for defending our rights before legislators," he said. "It's amazing the attacks we get from what we call the 'antis' on the outdoor lifestyle. They would like to take the outdoor lifestyle out of existence.

"Our work is more defending our rights - the rights of hunters, fishermen and trappers. It's the fees from their licenses and the fees we pay to use our public lands that pays for our public lands."

Additionally, Smith said he hopes to bolster the alliance's and foundation's programs to educate young people about the outdoors and outdoor activities. He noted the alliance's "Trailblazer Adventure Program," established in 2001, is the largest youth-oriented outdoor program in the world and recently reached its 1-millionth participant.

"It's an opportunity to reintroduce young people in urban communities to the outdoors," he said. "It's a fantastic program, and so far, it's been conducted in 46 states.

"We're projected to serve another 200,000 young people in 2011."