This year, the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC), the only organized pro-sportsmen group of governors in the nation, has continued to grow and change. Most recently, the 2015 Vice-Chair has been appointed, and two new members have brought the roster to 30 members.
As of March 26, the Democratic Vice-Chair role has officially been assumed by Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont. The invitation to serve as Vice-Chair was extended by current Democratic Co-Chair of the Caucus, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia earlier this year. Gov. Shumlin joins his Democratic counterpart Gov. Tomblin, along with Republican colleagues, Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa and Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi to lead the GSC, now in its sixth year.
“Vermonters have known the importance of our hunting, fishing and trapping traditions to the conservation of our wildlife and to the protection of our landscape for a long time,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Those are the same values that are championed by the Caucus and why I am so glad to be a part of its work.”
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is also pleased to announce and welcome the 29th and 30th members of the GSC: Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Gov. Rauner and Gov. Walker join the bipartisan GSC representing states with some of the richest outdoor heritages in the country.
“The sportsmen’s traditions are culturally engrained here in Wisconsin, and our abundant fish and wildlife resources are nationally renowned,” said Governor Walker. “With over 1.5 million hunters and anglers, spending $4.03 billion a year on their outdoor pursuits, protecting and advancing this way of life is critical to the state’s economy. Whether you pursue white tails, wild turkey, ruffed grouse or walleye, there are few better places to test your skill than Wisconsin. I am honored to join the 29 other members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, and look forward to working with this tremendous network of state executives to promote the interests of America’s sportsmen and women.”
The GSC, founded by CSF in 2009, includes Republican, Democrat, and Independent governor, and a lieutenant governor, who work to protect and advance the interests of America’s sportsmen and women, and advance professional fish and wildlife management. The GSC facilitates communication and information exchange between participating offices in support of policies that promote and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping. Guided by a leadership team of governors and staffed through CSF, the 30-member GSC complements and enhances the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, representing sportsmen constituencies from across the nation.
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?