February 12, 2014 (Washington, DC) – A week after members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) worked to advance three important pieces of pro-sportsmen’s legislation through Congress, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) held its annual “Welcome Back to Congress” reception for members of the CSC on Tuesday night. The reception, which included 27 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, focused on common issues of concern to sportsmen and women and provided a night of camaraderie for members of the sportsmen’s conservation community.
With nearly 300 bipartisan members, the CSC, with support from CSF, remains an identified group of allies continuously working as pro-sportsmen elected officials to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. Members of the CSC leadership for the 113th Congress were in attendance, including: Co-Chair, Representative Bob Latta, Vice-Chair, Representative Rob Wittman and Vice-Chair, Senator James Risch. Also in attendance was Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
CSF President Jeff Crane welcomed the packed room of CSC members and other attendees to the reception and thanked members of the CSC for their recent efforts in moving a list of important pro-sportsmen’s legislation through Congress.
CSC Co-Chair, Rep. Latta applauded the sportsmen’s community for their support of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (H.R. 3590), which passed in the House of Representatives on February 5. “It was a great vote last week and it proves you can get bipartisan legislation passed in this Congress. I want to thank all the members of the CSC here who voted for the legislation,” Latta stated.
In addition to the SHARE Act passage last week, two other important pro-sportsmen’s pieces of legislation advanced through Congress. First, the 2014 Farm Bill passed the Senate and was later signed by President Obama after three long years of debate. And on February 4, CSC Senate Co-Chair, Senator Kay Hagan introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 1996).
Crane asked those in attendance for support of S. 1996. “Now we need to turn our attention to the Senate and the recently introduced Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. This legislation has 12 bipartisan cosponsors, all who are members of the CSC. CSF will continue to work with Senate CSC members to promote this vital legislation in the 113th Congress.”
This year’s “Welcome Back to Congress” title sponsors were the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and Remington. Host sponsors included: ATK, Bass Pro Shops, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Oracle, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, Shimano American Corporation and Sports South, LLC. The co-host sponsors were: The Accord Group, American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Boone and Crockett Club, Crossroads Strategies, LLC, Ducks Unlimited, Duke Energy Corporation, Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, Lockheed Martin Corporation, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, National Beer Wholesalers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Natural Resource Results, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.
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?