On January 31, the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted their annual luncheon on the Capitol Lawn. Organized by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), the event brought together over 400 people including legislators, legislative and state executive staff, members of the conservation community, outdoor industry leaders, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) representatives to promote and celebrate the varied positive impacts hunting and angling provide in Alabama. CSF Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick also attended the event.
The annual event provided an opportunity for the DCNR and sportsmen’s organizations to interact with policy makers and communicate issues of importance. In addition to CSF and the DCNR, many other conservation organizations hosted booths to promote their individual groups, including: Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, Alabama Bass Trail, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Alabama Wildlife Federation, Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, Hunting Works for Alabama, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance. Representatives from the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and USDA-Wildlife Services, were also in attendance, among others.
DCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship addressed the group to thank legislators and partners for their commitment to supporting sportsmen’s issues. “Hunting and fishing is a way of life for Alabamians. Our state is blessed with vast natural resources from the coast to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and we appreciate all the work that you do to protect and promote hunting, angling and conservation here in Alabama.”
Additionally, House Sportsmen’s Caucus Chair Representative Randy Davis noted the importance of the Caucus as a members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). “We’re excited to see the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus continue to grow in numbers and strength to support the DCNR and conservation as a whole. As a member of NASC, we’re proud to be a part of the nationwide network of pro-sportsmen elected officials.”
The Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus was formed in 2009 and is chaired by Rep. Davis and Senator Del Marsh.
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?