Contact: Clay Chester, Southeastern States Coordinator
On July 6, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a letter to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources supporting rule proposals that would prohibit the possession of imported Cervidae body parts and require recreational reporting of two fish species. Additionally, CSF supported expanding the allowances for airguns and arrow shooting airguns for hunting provided that a Conservation Airgun Stamp or similar conservation funding mechanism is implemented.
Legal Arms, Ammunition, and Equipment for Hunting
CSF supported the proposed expansions for the airguns and arrow shooting airguns as legal methods of take for hunting with the caveat that a Conservation Airgun Stamp or state-level conservation funding mechanism is implemented. As airguns and arrow shooting airguns do not contribute to the American System of Conservation Funding, CSF recommended the establishment of a state-level conservation stamp to ensure that hunters using these weapons contribute equitably to conservation funding.
The letter stated, “Our support for the proposed expansions for the use of airguns and arrow shooting airguns, however, is contingent on a state-level conservation mechanism that provides parity among all approved methods of take. Airguns and arrow shooting airguns are not included in the Pittman-Robertson Act, and the rule proposal therefore undermines the ‘user-pays, public-benefits’ American System of Conservation Funding because airguns and arrow shooting airguns do not contribute to conservation funding in the same manners as firearms and archery equipment.”
Prohibition on the Possession of Imported Cervidae Body Parts
CSF supported the proposal to prohibit the possession of imported Cervidae body parts from outside of the state. Alabama currently prohibits the importation, but not possession, of Cervidae body parts from outside of the state, and the proposed amendment would strengthen efforts to prevent Chronic Wasting Disease introduction into Alabama as an enhanced enforcement rule.
Recreational Reporting of Certain Gulf Reef Fish
CSF also supported the proposal to add the greater amberjack and gray triggerfish to the list of species subject to the state’s recreational reporting requirements. Following the successes of state management of red snapper, CSF fully supports state data collection of additional species in an effort to mitigate uncertainty associated with the federal data collection process, the Marine Recreational Information Program.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?