By John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager
On June 25, legislation to constitutionally protect the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife in North Carolina passed both legislative chambers. The amendment will be presented to voters for ratification in the November 2018 elections.
Before the House passed Senate Bill 677 92-23, it adopted an amendment from North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) Member Representative David Lewis that strengthened the legislation and rejected other amendments that would have weakened the bill. Hours later, the Senate concurred 41-6 with the amended bill.
Sponsored by Caucus Members Senators Danny Earl Britt, Tom McInnis, and Norman Sanderson, SB 677 passed both chambers by the required three-fifths vote for a constitutional amendment. The bill is not subject to the Governor’s consideration.
On June 20, representatives from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Rifle Association, and Delta Waterfowl testified in favor of the legislation before the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee. Right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife constitutional amendments are critical to protect our country’s hunting, fishing, and trapping traditions in the face of increasing threats to outdoor sporting traditions. Should voters in North Carolina voters ratify the amendment this fall, North Carolina will join 21 other states that have constitutionally protected the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
Supporting over 35,000 jobs in the state and contributing more than $2.3 billion to the state’s economy, North Carolina’s hunters, anglers, and trappers are important economic drivers. In 2017 alone, sportsmen and women also contributed over $56 million to conservation funding in North Carolina through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and sporting-related equipment.
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Your opinion counts
Which of these considered changes do you believe would have the most positive impact on management of the recreational red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico?Vote Here
- Granting full management authority (stock assessments, management of both commercial and recreational sectors, etc.) to the five Gulf states. (35.00%)
- Extending the states’ current 9-mile management jurisdictions to 25 miles. (20.00%)
- Permanently allow each state to manage its recreational sector allocation out to 200 nautical miles. (20.00%)
- Use of more appropriate management models, such as rate of harvest, rather than the commercial hard-poundage quota system currently in place. (20.00%)
- Inclusion of additional, non-federal data in stock assessments. (5.00%)