August 31, 2020

CSF Helps Secure Exemption of H-2B Workers for Conservation and Forestry Projects

On August 12, the U.S. Department of State announced an exemption of H-2B conservation and forestry workers from President Proclamation 10014 and the subsequent amendment that banned non-immigrant H-2B guest workers from entering the United States through December 31, 2020.

Prior to this announcement, on August 7, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and nearly 30 of the nation’s top sporting-conservation organizations urged the exemption of H-2B workers in order to ensure an ample work force to maintain continuous and healthy forests to enhance conservation, healthy habitats, clean water, and provide additional hunting and fishing opportunities. In fiscal year 2019, American workers applied for only 3.6% of the available positions that were ultimately filled by H-2B workers. The exemption to provide for the allowance of H-2B guest workers is necessary to provide labor for management of public and privately owned forests, a robust timber industry, and critical fish and wildlife habitat projects.

CSF applauds the Administration for quickly issuing the exemption of H-2B workers for forestry and conservation-related projects following the community’s urging.

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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