On January 15, the Georgia sportsmen’s community and numerous legislative and administrative officials gathered at the Georgia State Capitol for the 15th Annual Georgia Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol. This annual event, held at the beginning of the legislative session, provides a venue for elected officials to hear from the conservation community on issues of importance as well as express their support for these issues.
Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to the assembled group in the State Capitol Rotunda and noted Georgia’s vast natural resources and associated economic impact. “Working together, we must continue to protect and promote the natural resources that can be found throughout Georgia, from the coast to the mountains. I am proud of our state and the vast opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, canoe, and enjoy various other available outdoor recreational activities. Thank you for the important work you are doing to ensure these traditions continue well into the future.”
Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Bill Heath and Representative David Knight introduced resolutions officially declaring January 12, 2017 as “Georgia Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol” in their respective chambers. Sen. Heath also serves as the Vice-President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council. Representative David Knight serves as Chairman of the House Game, Fish, and Parks Committee.
Sen. Heath, who was awarded Legislator of the Year by both the American Kennel Club and the Georgia Canine Coalition during the event, voiced support for the important work of NASC following the event. “The nationwide work of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and NASC to unite pro-sportsmen legislators with each other and the larger sportsmen’s community remains invaluable. I am proud to serve as the NASC Vice-President and Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair, and I look forward to working with colleagues both in-state and around the country to protect the sportsmen’s heritage we all enjoy.”
Speaker of the House David Ralston, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams also affirmed their support of sportsmen and women in the Peach State. CSF Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick joined a host of in-state conservation organizations in the Rotunda to jointly promote Georgia’s natural resources, hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and trappers.
The Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators working to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping, was first established in 2003 and since then has continued to provide a strong voice for the sportsmen’s community in the state.
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?