Why it matters: Efforts to undermine legal, science-based, and sustainable hunting programs are on the rise across the country. These efforts fail to recognize the significant economic and conservation value of hunting both domestically in the U.S. and internationally. Any effort to undermine these hunting programs is an effort to undermine some of the world’s most successful conservation programs.
On August 26, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) led an effort to oppose two anti-hunting petitions submitted to the Department of the Interior and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The efforts of CSF led to the development of two letters that were signed by 36 of the nation’s leading sporting-conservation organizations, including CSF, in opposition to these emotionally driven petitions.
At the domestic level, our nation entrusts our state fish and wildlife agencies with the responsibility of managing their respective fish, wildlife, and their associated habitats. These agencies are the best positioned entities to make sound, science-based management decisions and are the driving force behind our remarkable conservation success stories. Since 1939, state fish and wildlife agencies have received over $71 billion from sportsmen and women. On average, this accounts for 60% of the funding for these agencies. These petitions would supersede state fish and wildlife agencies and undermine their primacy of management.
Internationally, actively managed and regulated hunting, often conducted by Americans, is the conservation linchpin of many species whose populations are stable, growing and in many instances, are at or above ecological and / or social carrying capacity. Efforts to undermine international hunting ignores credible science that clearly demonstrate the conservation benefit of existing hunting programs – programs that also support 53,000 full- and part-time jobs.
In the letters, CSF and partners stated “Without question, domestic and international hunting are vital elements to conservation – maintaining biodiversity and ensuring species survival in the U.S., and in various regions around the world. Internationally, hunting programs, especially those involving rural communities within the conservation and management efforts, are proven tools to sustain both species and habitat. The revenue generated from licensed, regulated hunting is the primary source of management, conservation, and anti-poaching funds for national wildlife authorities as is the case in many southern and eastern African countries.”
CSF will continue to be a leading voice in opposition to any efforts that seek to undermine well-regulated and science-based hunting programs in the U.S. and at the international level.
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?