By Zachary Sheldon, Upper Midwestern States Coordinator
On May 3, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Mike Bishop (MI) introduced House Resolution 868. The resolution designates the week of Memorial Day as Great Lakes Week – recognizing the cultural, economic, and environmental importance of the Great Lakes and promoting conservation efforts to preserve the lakes.
The Resolution has broad bipartisan support, with 19 Members of Congress from the Great Lakes region signing on as co-sponsors, including CSC Members Reps. John Moolenaar (MI), Fred Upton (MI), Tim Walberg (MI), Debbie Dingell (MI), David Joyce (OH), Rick Nolan (MN), and Chris Collins (NY).
Rep. Bishop said, “Memorial Day week is often the kick-off for folks in the Midwest to head to the lakes to explore miles of sandy beaches and bluffs, go fishing and boating, and enjoy the beauty of our Great Lakes. As a father and lifelong Michigander, I want my children to enjoy the great outdoors like I did growing up. We all know that ensuring the health of our lakes for future generations requires vigilance, and ‘Great Lakes Week’ is an opportunity to celebrate our lakes and promote responsible conservation with friends and family members to protect our treasured natural resources.”
The Great Lakes provide numerous opportunities to anglers across the region. In 2011, more than 1.6 million anglers spent $2.97 billion in the region, creating a total economic output of over $7 billion across the Great Lakes area.
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?