On August 13, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined other groups from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) at Missouri’s Big Cedar Lodge for their annual summer meeting to discuss federal policy recommendations for the upcoming edition of Wildlife for the 21st Century.
AWCP is a coalition of 50 national wildlife conservation groups that collaborate on national policy issues for the betterment of professional wildlife and natural resource management as well as outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing. In addition to regularly working with Members of Congress, federal agencies, and the administration, the group publishes a set of recommendations supported by all member groups that addresses pressing issues within the conservation community for the next administration to prioritize.
The current version (Volume 5) covers recommendations for securing dedicated funding for wildlife conservation, improving public access to public lands for outdoor recreation, balancing development and natural resource use with wildlife and habitat conservation, incentivizing wildlife conservation and access on private lands, increasing active management and reducing litigation, and improving cooperation between non-governmental organizations and state and federal agencies.
The new Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume 6 report is scheduled for release in 2020.
During the administrative portion of the meeting, California Waterfowl Association was voted in as AWCP’s newest group member and CSF’s Senior Director of Federal Policy, Andy Treharne, was selected to serve on the AWCP Steering Committee
In addition to a robust meeting agenda, Bass Pro Shops’ Founder/CEO Johnny Morris invited the group to Top of the Rock - a scenic overlook of the Ozark Mountains at Big Cedar Lodge - and commended their efforts to advance conservation and the interests of sportsmen and women. Other notable attendees included Missouri Department of Conservation Director Sara Pauley and U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (MO) who addressed the group during dinner.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (12.80%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (10.40%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (61.60%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (15.20%)