On September 14, nearly 50 Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, along with leaders of the sportsmen’s community and industry gathered at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) 27th Annual Banquet & Auction in Washington, DC, themed, “A Celebration of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus: Our Leaders in Conservation.”
Prior to the Banquet, members of CSF’s Chairman’s Club gathered for an annual luncheon, which was led by CSF Board of Directors Chairman Mark DeYoung (Vista Outdoor Inc), CSC Co-Chair Congressman Rob Wittman (VA), and keynote speaker CSC Vice-Chair Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC). In addition to thanking CSF’s individual donors in attendance, the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus of Canada, the northern ally of the CSC, was recognized for its work on behalf of sportsmen and women.
This year’s Banquet focused on the most notable accomplishments by the CSC on behalf of sportsmen and women including passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in the Senate and the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act in the House.
The evening opened with remarks from CSC Members Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), who introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in 2015.
“I truly appreciate the important work this Foundation does to maintain a strong link between Congress and the sporting community, and am especially grateful for your tireless efforts to help us advance sportsmen’s legislation,” Sen. Murkowski said. “When it comes to hunting and fishing opportunities, Alaska’s are unmatched, which is why protecting access to our public lands is one of my top priorities. We’ve made it further this year than ever before in advancing this legislation, and with your continued support, I’m confident these provisions will be signed into law this year.”
“The Sportsmen’s Act has been a long time in the making, and I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort alongside Senator Murkowski to enhance opportunities for hunters and anglers and reauthorize key conservation programs,” said Sen. Heinrich. “As sportsmen, we have a deep connection to the outdoors and benefit from the wildlife and water that our public lands provide. Conservation is etched into the history of my home state of New Mexico, and protecting these wild places and outdoor traditions contribute to our robust and sustainable outdoor recreation economy. I am hopeful that, thanks to the efforts of the sportsmen’s community, our kids and grandkids will be catching trout and chasing mule deer for many years to come.”
CSF President Jeff Crane welcomed attendees and introduced CSC leadership: Co-Chairs Senators Jim Risch (ID) and Joe Manchin (WV) and Congressmen Rob Wittman (VA) and Tim Walz (MN); and Vice-Chairs Senators Deb Fischer (NE) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and Gene Green (TX). “The CSC is the largest bipartisan Caucus on Capitol Hill, with 300 Members of Congress representing states across the country, and nearly 40 million hunters and anglers,” said Crane. “Bipartisanship is a critical component and shows that our sportsmen’s traditions are something that can be supported regardless of political party.”
Title Sponsors included: Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Ford King Ranch, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Safari Club International, and Vista Outdoor Inc. Host Sponsors included: Hornady Manufacturing Co. and Outdoor Sportsman Group. Co-Host Sponsors included: Altria Client Services, LLC, Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, Bass Pro Shops, Diageo, ITC Holdings Corporation, Plano Synergy, Richard Childress Racing, Shimano American Corporation, Winchester, and Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America. CSF would also like to thank the many Supporting Sponsors and Auction donors.
114th Congress Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership
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?