On November 20, the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council (HSSCC) held a meeting to discuss pressing issues facing the hunting and shooting sports community, and were joined by the Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and other senior officials from the Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA).
The HSSCC, which consists of 18 full-time members and 10 alternate members representing the nation's top sporting-conservation groups, develops and provides recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to promote and advance hunting and the shooting sports. Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane serves as Council Chairman.
"As Chairman of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council, I would like to thank Secretary Bernhardt and Perdue as well as the other agency staff for attending the HSSCC meeting yesterday," said Crane. "Their support does not go unnoticed in our community, and we are grateful that they consistently demonstrate and uphold their personal and professional commitment to America's sportsmen and women."
To date, the Council has submitted nearly 20 recommendations to DOI and USDA on topics including wildlife diseases, recreational shooting policies on federally owned public lands, implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, and many other issues that impact sportsmen and women. A few of the top policy priories discussed during yesterday's meeting include:
- Implementation of Secretarial Orders 3347, 3356, and 3362, including the activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hunt/Fish Chiefs
- Qualified Volunteers to reduce excess ungulate populations on National Park Service Units
- Wetland and grassland easements
- 2018 Farm Bill implementation
- Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA)
- Recreational shooting policy within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, through Crane's Chairmanship, will continue to work with DOI and USDA to continue advancing sound conservation policies and to increase public access opportunities for America's sportsmen and women.
The next HSSCC meeting, which will likely take place in Spring 2020, will be published in the Federal Register.
Jeff Crane, Eva Shockey and other members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council (HSSCC) convened yesterday in Washington D.C. to discuss issues and foster the interests of the sportsmen's community.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.49%)
- 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). (12.26%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (63.22%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.03%)