Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator
On March 5, the Iowa House of Representatives voted to pass Senate File 280 (SF 280). This bill would expand resident status for hunting and fishing licenses to include active duty members of the armed forces and their spouses stationed at a military installation contiguous to an Iowa county and domiciled in Iowa. Originally introduced as SF 215 by Iowa Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Chris Cournoyer, SF 280 now awaits concurrence in the Senate.
Under current statute, resident status for active duty military only extends to those who are stationed or already claim residency in Iowa. However, the limited scope of this definition excludes those who are stationed at military installations in neighboring states while being housed in Iowa. For example, Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons arsenal in the United States, is located on an island on the Mississippi River near Davenport, Iowa. Though the installation is within Illinois’ borders, some personnel stationed there live in Iowa. SF 280 would ensure that those personnel are able to take advantage of resident status in Iowa when purchasing hunting and fishing licenses.
Through the expanded resident status granted through SF 280, Iowa is recognizing and celebrating our active duty personnel and their spouses while ensuring that they are contributing to the American System of Conservation Funding. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation supports steps like this to ensure the use of our nation’s natural resources comes at a reduced cost to our active duty military personnel. The sportsmen’s community has a long tradition of finding ways to honor those who have served our nation through the great outdoors.
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?