The U.S. Senate confirmed David Bernhardt to serve as Secretary of the Interior on a bipartisan vote of 56 – 41. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has strongly supported this confirmation process from the beginning, emphasizing to Senate leadership that Bernhardt has demonstrated his dedication to the sportsmen’s community.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Ranking Member Joe Manchin (WV) – both Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members – were instrumental in quickly advancing Secretary Bernhardt’s nomination through the Committee. Bipartisan CSC leadership, Senators Deb Fischer (NE), Martin Heinrich (NM), John Boozman (AR), and Joe Manchin (WV) all voted favorably to confirm Secretary Bernhardt.
Prior to the ENR confirmation hearing, nearly 40 of the nation’s leading sporting conservation organizations, including CSF, sent a letter of support.
A Colorado native, Secretary Bernhardt is an avid sportsman and has consistently demonstrated his personal commitment to increasing public access opportunities for sportsmen and women as well as promoting sound fish and wildlife conservation policies while working to balance the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) mission.
During his time as Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary of DOI, Bernhardt issued and oversaw the implementation of several critically important Secretarial Orders. These Orders expanded hunting and fishing opportunities within the National Wildlife Refuge System, promoted efforts to advance conservation of big game winter range and migration corridors, and recognized outdoor recreation values during disposal or exchange of public lands, among other actions. Most recently, Bernhardt signed an Order directing DOI bureaus to implement an important comprehensive sportsmen’s package, the John Dingell Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (S. 47).
CSF President Jeff Crane currently serves as Chairman of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council, a group that advises the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on policies that benefit hunting and recreational shooting and other conservation policies. CSF looks forward to continuing to work with Secretary Bernhardt to advance pro-sportsmen’s policies and conserve the nation’s fish and wildlife resources for the enjoyment of future generations.
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?