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February 27, 2012 (Washington, DC) – Saturday evening, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a reception for the sportsmen-governors, many of whom are members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC), a program under the CSF banner. Six of our nation’s state chief executives gathered in Washington, DC, to focus on policy issues affecting their sportsmen constituents and to trade hunting stories.
Governor Susana Martinez (NM) formally stepped into her new role as co-chair of the GSC at the event and accepted a blazer embroidered with the GSC logo, presented to her by CSF President Jeff Crane. Governor Martinez was joined by her GSC colleagues Governors Mike Beebe (AR), Terry Branstad (IA), Brian Schweitzer (MT), and Earl Ray Tomblin (WV). Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy also stopped by to show his support for the sportsmen and women of his state.
“The strong showing of governors at this event is further evidence that the sportsmen and women of this country have a powerful ally watching out for their interests,” said Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “These governors are on the front lines protecting the interests of hunters and anglers by advancing sound fish and wildlife conservation policies in their states.”
The Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus now has a total of 23 sportsmen allied governors from both political parties and diverse geographical regions of the country, representing large outdoor constituencies that include many of America’s nearly 40 million hunters and anglers. America’s sportsmen and women provide the vast majority of our nation’s conservation funding through the “user pays-public benefits” structure of the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). The ASCF is fueled by the sale of sporting licenses and revenues collected from excise taxes on sporting goods and motorboat fuel through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs, celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.
Guided by a bipartisan leadership team of governors-Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe-the GSC, along with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that protect and promote the agenda of America’s hunters and anglers.
The reception was sponsored by CropLife America, J C Larkin Company LLC, and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. Other supporters of the GSC include: Altria, ATK, Auto Alliance, Cabela’s, Comcast, Dallas Safari Club, ExxonMobil, the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Outdoor Channel, Remington, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, Shimano American Corp., and Winchester Ammunition.
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?