On August 30, Idaho Governor Butch Otter, Member of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, signed a proclamation commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Governor Otter hosted a proclamation signing ceremony at his office with Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) staff, leadership from the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Idaho Sportsmen’s Alliance (ISA), and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).
The proclamation, co-sponsored by CSF and ISA, highlights the unique “user-pays, public-benefits” system known as the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, which began 80 years ago with the passage of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act in 1937. This program was bolstered with the passage of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act in 1950, and further expanded with the Wallop-Breaux amendment to the Sport Fish Restoration Act in 1984. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program also permanently linked revenue from hunting and angling licenses to conservation, creating the ASCF as it exists today.
Upon signing the proclamation, Governor Otter remarked, “Hunting and fishing are fundamental parts of Idaho’s incredible outdoor lifestyle. It’s a past-time and a passion that drives wildlife and habitat conservation efforts while creating jobs and economic opportunity for thousands of our citizens. Most importantly, it’s a funding system that works to sustain and improve the resource as well as the people who cherish it.”
Governor Otter was joined at the ceremony by CSF Northwest States Manager Zach Widner, Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mat Erpelding, ISA President Larry Fry and Vice-President Dennis Radocha, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Deputy Director of Programs and Policy Sharon Kiefer, and Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Deputy Director of Operations Ed Schriever.
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?