By Joel Hodgdon Central Midwestern Sates Coordinator
On March 21, members of the sportsmen’s community came together for a Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol hosted by the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. Among others in attendance were Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Director of Midwestern States Chris Horton and Central Midwestern States Coordinator Joel Hodgdon.
The participating hunting and angling groups hosted booths at the Capitol, providing legislators and staff with information on their membership’s activities and impacts in the state. Through the American System of Conservation Funding, Oklahoma sportsmen and women generated nearly $42 million for the conservation of the state’s natural resources in 2017 alone. This revenue helps to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitat, provide clean water and healthy landscapes, and maintains access to these resources for Oklahomans at large, not just the state’s sportsmen and women.
“The strong participation from these groups really shows the dedication of our sporting community to our hunting and angling heritage,” said Caucus Co-Chair Representative Mike Sanders. “This gathering is a great reminder to the Legislature about the importance of sportsmen and women to Oklahoma.”
The Caucus also hosted a luncheon in conjunction with the Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol that provided an opportunity for further discussion between the sportsmen’s community, allied industry members, and Caucus members.
“Not only are Oklahoma sportsmen and women important to our state’s conservation, but they are vital to the Sooner State’s economy as well,” remarked Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Allen. “Our state’s roughly 800,000 hunters and anglers spend over $1.5 billion annually on their outdoor pursuits, spending that supports about 24,000 jobs in our state.”
Members of Oklahoma’s NWTF Chapter, Oklahoma Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Mark Allen, CSF’s Chris Horton
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The House Appropriations Committee is now making decisions regarding funding allocations for FY 2020. Which of the following conservation priorities – largely led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members – is the most important to you?Vote Here
- North American Wetlands Conservation Act (10.91%)
- Chronic Wasting Disease management and studies (24.85%)
- National Fish Habitat Conservation (9.70%)
- Wildlife Migration Corridors (42.42%)
- National Wildlife Refuges (8.48%)
- Exemption of lead fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (3.64%)