February 11, 2019

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Remembers John Dingell, a Conservation Legacy

On February 7, Congressman John Dingell Jr. (MI), one of the country’s most accomplished legislators and conservationists, passed away at age 92.

Congressman Dingell’s career is best summarized as one of selfless public service. Dingell enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 18, where he rose to the rank of second lieutenant. A little over a decade later in 1955, Dingell was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he served the state of Michigan for nearly 60 years. 

In 1988, Congressman Dingell was a founding member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), where he solidified his commitment to fish and wildlife conservation and served the sporting community until his retirement from Congress in 2015.

Continuing the family legacy of advancing milestone conservation policy such as the Dingell-Johnson Act, which was authored by his father, Congressman Dingell was a champion of numerous conservation programs.

Dingell may be most well-known for his time on the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he served as the top Democrat on the Committee for a total of 28 years in his role as the Chairman for 16 years and as the Ranking Member for 12 years.

Dingell was instrumental in many conservation achievements throughout his career, including: the National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 that increased the duck stamp price to $25.

Congressman Dingell also served for nearly four decades on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, where he helped guide conservation projects in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to protect, enhance, restore, and manage critical wetland habitats.

“Congressman Dingell’s contributions to fish and wildlife conservation while serving in Congress are far and reaching,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane. “Chairman Dingell left a lasting legacy of commitment and determination that led to some of the nation’s most important conservation programs.”

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation would like to offer thoughts and prayers to Congressman Dingell’s family, including CSC Vice-Chair Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

The Honorable John Dingell and Saxby Chambliss at a past CSF Congressional Clays Competition.

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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