In August of 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 aimed at cutting the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years by mandating automatic spending caps on the federal government’s nondefense-related, mandatory and discretionary spending – known as sequestration. This legislation requires that 5.1% of the nation’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs and Boating Safety Trust Fund – collectively called the Trust Funds – be “sequestered” or withheld from distribution to the states. The Trust Funds are the lifeblood of state fish and wildlife agencies’ day-to-day operating budgets and are used to restore and manage fisheries and wildlife and their habitats; open and maintain recreational access to these and other areas (including shooting ranges); and deliver hunter and boating safety education. The money will not be diverted from the Trust Funds to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction or other uses, but the funds will be stuck in limbo, unavailable to the states for their intended purposes while sequestration is in effect.
On March 13, CSF along with 44 other organizations representing millions of hunters, anglers, scientists, and conservationists, signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging them to help preserve the time‐honored commitment of these funds and keep the trust with America’s sportsmen and women by ensuring that the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Trust Funds as well as the Boating Safety Trust Funds are exempted from the Budget Sequestration Act of 2011 (P.L. 112‐155) by amending 2 U.S.C. § 905, Exempt programs and activities, “so as to include appropriations from such trust funds in addition to payments to such funds.”
For more information on sequestration, click here.
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?