July 20, 2017

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Conservation Leaders Promote Funding for Wildlife

On July 19, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a Breakfast Briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the anticipated reintroduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to meet the urgent need for proactive wildlife conservation funding.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Congressman Don Young (AK) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI) plan to introduce this legislation, based on a recommendation by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, a coalition of representatives from the outdoor recreational retail and manufacturing sectors, energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, and state fish and wildlife agencies. The Panel is chaired by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal.

Specifically, this bill dedicates $1.3 billion annually in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program.

CSF President Jeff Crane, a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel, said, “America’s hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and boaters have been the primary funders of state-based conservation efforts to this day. This recommendation simply directs funding for conservation from other sectors that use our natural resources.”

CSC Co-Chair Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC) and Vice-Chair Congressman Austin Scott welcomed attendees to the Briefing, followed by Jennifer Thompson, Senior Advisor of Federal Government Relations at Shell Americas, and Collin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, who spoke about the importance of this bill.

Rep. Dingell followed with, “We need to be bipartisan on many things, but the outdoors and protecting and conserving our natural resources is what we do as Americans. With your continued leadership, I’m hopeful that we can find consensus in a bipartisan agreement on making the investments that we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to promote conservation.”

CSF will continue to work with the CSC and Blue Ribbon Panel members on promoting this important conservation funding policy priority. 

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?

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