On March 26, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted the 25th Anniversary Leadership Dinner in Washington, DC to honor and commemorate past and present members of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC).
Nine members of the current and former leadership of the CSC joined representatives from the sportsmen’s conservation community, congressional staff, and members of the CSF Board of Directors to celebrate 25 years of the bipartisan CSC and CSF and to discuss the future of our nation’s hunting and angling heritage.
CSF President Jeff Crane thanked current CSC Co-Chairs Senators Kay Hagan and John Thune and Representatives Bob Latta and Bennie Thompson for their leadership and asked for continued support in getting a bipartisan Sportsmen’s Package passed through the 113th Congress.
“I want to take a moment to thank all of you for supporting CSF. We are grateful to have members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, working on behalf of the sportsmen and women,” stated Crane. “Tonight, we are here to not only celebrate the 25th Anniversary, but also to introduce the newly founded Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Alumni Association.”
Sen. Hagan spoke on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, introduced in February. “Hunting and angling and outdoor recreation is not partisan; so we need to take that partisanship out and get the job done,” stated Sen. Hagan. “In that bipartisan spirit, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and I are Co-Chairing [the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act] and we need to move this bill.”
Sen. Thune followed Sen. Hagan, noting the bipartisanship needed on the Senate side. “It takes people who are really passionate and committed to keep an organization going. [The CSC] has grown to a lot of members, and like my colleague Sen. Hagan said, on both sides of the aisle. We have an opportunity to protect the great outdoors for our future generations,” stated Sen. Thune. “We need to get the sportsmen’s package done. I know the House is anxious, and we as the Senate need to get it done before the year is over.”
Crane then welcomed CSC Co-Founders, the Honorable Richard T. Schulze (M.C. Ret.) and the Honorable Lindsay Thomas (M.C. Ret.) who unveiled the newly formed Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Alumni Association. The CSC Alumni Association, Co-Chaired by Schulze and Thomas, was developed with the intention of linking previous CSC members in an alumni network to further protect and advance our sportsmen’s traditions after their time in Congress.
Schulze and Thomas addressed the crowd on the 25 year history of the CSC and the newly formed CSC Alumni Association.
CSF also took the opportunity to distribute its 25th Anniversary report, “Yesterday’s Achievements, Tomorrow’s Aspirations.” This report elaborates on the successes of the CSC, the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses through the mission of protecting and advancing our sportsmen’s traditions in the halls of government.
The night’s camaraderie and fellowship was followed this morning by a breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill focusing on the future of saltwater fisheries management. Look for more information on this briefing through a CSF press release that will be released later today.
The 25th Anniversary Leadership dinner was sponsored by American Sportfishing Association, Amgen, ATK, Bass Pro Shops, Boone and Crockett Club, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Center for Coastal Conservation, Crossroad Strategies, LLC, Diageo, ITC Holdings Corporation, JC Larkin Company, LLC, Lockheed Martin, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Oracle, Remington, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, and Shimano American Corporation
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?