OWAC is a non-profit association of media professionals who communicate the vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities and related issues in California and the surrounding western region. The membership includes newspaper and magazine staffers, freelance writers, book authors, radio broadcasters, video producers, editors, photographers, artists, lecturers and information officers.
OWAC was founded in 1986 to expand public information on outdoor recreation and conservation, provide professional craft improvement, and increase recognition of outdoor writing as a specialized field among media and educational institutions.
Supporting Memberships are available to individuals, organizations and firms with an interest in the outdoors field and in supporting OWAC's programs. In 2008, the roster included recreational equipment manufacturers, visitors and convention bureaus, tour operators, public relations agencies, conservation organizations and publishers.
OWAC’s spring and fall conferences, held in some of California’s most beautiful outdoor settings, showcase the organization’s principal programs. Those are the annual Craft Awards Contest, where the finest work in the outdoor communications field is recognized and honored; the Californian of the Year award, recognizing an individual who has profoundly improved the outdoor experience via conservation work or other good deeds; and the Outdoor Outreach grants, awarded to non-profit organizations that promote enjoyment of outdoor recreation.
Professional writers, photographers, and those working in other media to cover fishing, hunting, boating, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, adventure sports and other related active outdoor activities are warmly welcomed. With annual dues of only $35 for members, OWAC membership is a valuable investment.