On Thursday, January 16, sportsmen and women from the Peach State gathered at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta for the 12th Annual “Georgia Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol.” Various sportsmen conservation organizations set up display booths and distributed pertinent information about their group and their contribution to the Georgia economy. Also in attendance were Governor Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Nathan Deal, Speaker of the House David Ralston, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams, and many other state legislators.
Gov. Nathan Deal took the opportunity to thank the Department of Natural Resources as well as the dedicated sportsmen and women. “I want to commend the Department of Natural Resources for their work in conservation but I also want to thank all of you. It’s the spirit and commitment of the groups assembled here today that makes conservation a reality in our state. The fruits of your partnerships are easy to see – abundant populations of white-tail deer, wild turkey, wood ducks, largemouth bass, red drum, and a beautiful coastline. I want to thank all of you gathered here today for your work in conserving these natural resources for the generations to come.”
CSF Southeastern States Manager, Bee Frederick hosted a booth representing the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) and used the opportunity to promote the form and function of NASC, the Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and the significant economic impact hunting and angling play in the state. Many members of the Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus were in attendance, including Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Bill Heath and Representative David Knight. The Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators working to protect and promote hunting, angling, and recreational shooting and trapping was originally established in 2003 and has continued to be a strong a voice for sportsmen’s interests in the Capitol.
Among the other sportsmen’s groups in attendance were National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Coastal Conservation Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation, and others.
Sen. Heath, who also serves on the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council, introduced a Senate Resolution highlighting the economic importance sportsmen and women play in the state and recognizing January 16, 2014 as “Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol.” According to Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Sportsmen’s Economic Impact Report, Georgia includes over one million hunters and anglers, spending $2.3 billion and generating $2.6 million in state and local taxes in 2011.
For more information on the Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, or the economic impact of hunting and angling in America please visit www.sportsmenslink.org.
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?