Why It Matters: While many states across the U.S. hold sportsmen and women in high regard, it is important that the sporting conservation community take steps to ensure that this view is retained. Oklahoma’s SCR 4 is a shining example of how the role of sportsmen and women as conservationists can be highlighted while encouraging sportsmen and women to take steps to ensure that this mentality is passed along to the next generation.
- The Oklahoma State Legislature recently adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 unanimously in both chambers.
- Introduced by Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Blake “Cowboy” Stephens, SCR 4 highlights the role of sportsmen and women in supporting fish and wildlife conservation while encouraging the sporting-conservation community to pass our time-honored outdoor traditions on to the next generation.
- Led by Senator Stephens in the Senate and fellow Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair and NASC Executive Council Member Representative Kevin Wallace in the House, SCR 4 was co-authored by the entire Oklahoma House of Representatives as the measure was considered in the House.
Recently, Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Blake “Cowboy” Stephens led an effort that expresses the will of the legislature to reflect on and appreciate the critical role sportsmen and sportswomen play in the conservation of this nation’s fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, adopted unanimously in both chambers last week, provides a simple, yet effective, acknowledgment of the role that sportsmen and sportswomen play in supporting both local economies as well as state conservation efforts through the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding. In the Sooner State, like in many states around the country, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is nearly solely funded through the ASCF, receiving no general fund revenue while managing the state’s public trust fish and wildlife resources.
SCR 4 also lays out a challenge for the sporting conservation community to pass on their knowledge and passion for the outdoors to the next generation. As sportsmen and women, it is our responsibility to be stewards that bring current and future generations into the fold, a concept championed by many within the sporting-conservation community through hunter and angler recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds Oklahoma SCR 4’s approach to further shine a light on the important role played by sportsmen and women, and we look forward to working throughout the country to continue highlighting this message.