On March 24, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member and past CSC Co-Chair Senator John Thune (SD) and Senator Bill Nelson (FL) introduced S. 834 which would reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through Fiscal Year 2023.
“This program helps ensure our natural water resources receive needed care so that they remain available for the use and enjoyment of generations to come,” stated Sen. Thune in a recent press release. “Sport fishermen and recreational boaters value and support this trust fund that allocates funds to protect wetlands, restore fisheries, and support a national recreational boating safety program.”
Also on March 24, 11 member organizations from the Angling & Boating Alliance sent a letter to Sen. Thune, Chairman, and Sen. Nelson, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, in support of the Trust Fund reauthorization, and noting statutory amendments to the Trust Fund. The Angling & Boating Alliance is an ad hoc coalition of national recreational boating, angling, outdoor recreation interests, conservation groups, and state boating safety and natural resources agencies.
The Trust Fund authorizes annual funding to: Administration of the Sport Fish Restoration Program, Multistate Conservation Grant Program, Atlantic Conservation Grant Program, Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific, and Great Lakes States Fisheries Commissions, and the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council. The funds are also partially allocated to support the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, Boating Safety program, Clean Vessel Act, Boating Infrastructure program, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, and the Sport Fish Restoration 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?