Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
On January 8 the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator attended the first meeting of the year for the Idaho Sportsmen’s Alliance (ISA), advisory council to the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
ISA’s mission is to protect and improve Idaho’s wildlife heritage of hunting, fishing, and trapping for present and future generations. The objective is to provide an organization that allows Idaho’s sportsmen’s organizations to come together to seek consensus on issues important to sportsmen, while providing educational programming to other sportsmen’s organizations, the Idaho Legislature, and other governmental entities on sportsmen’s issues. ISA strives to be an informational resource to the Legislature and other governmental entities on legislation, regulations and other issues affecting Idaho’s wildlife heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping.
The focus of the meeting was the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), with agency staff on-hand to provide an overview of anticipated policy issues during the 2020 legislative session. IDFG’s main focus moving into the legislative session is passage of their updated rules docket, which includes changes such as granting the Idaho Fish and Game Commission the ability to require upland game bird permits in new areas to support expansion of the department’s pheasant stocking program, establishing a swan tag in the panhandle of the state, prohibiting the importation of cervids to the state in an effort to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease, non-resident hunting license fee increases, and granting the Commission the ability to cap non-resident licensing allotments in areas of high congestion. Additionally, there is increasing interest by large land owners and timber companies throughout the state who are wanting to lease their land to IDGF for increased public access on private lands. Such agreements would be similar to the 2019 agreement with PotlatchDeltic and other timberland companies.
ISA has worked very closely with IDGF on crafting the current rules docket. Due to IDGF’s continued collaboration and cooperation with the sporting community, ISA supports the current rules docket and has advised the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to do so as well. As it stands, the IDGF Rules Docket passed the House Resource and Conservation Committee on January 13, 2020, and is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Resources and Environment Committee on January 20, 2020.
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?