May 13, 2024

Legislation to Protect Conservation Funding in Louisiana Clears Senate Committee

Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters:  Legislation to protect conservation funding for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) by requiring that the agency be reimbursed for revenue lost due to the creation of free and discounted hunting and fishing licenses is a forward-leaning mechanism to safeguard the ability of the state fish and wildlife agency to manage the state’s public trust resources and provide services for the sportsmen and women whose license dollars provide significant funding for the agency.


  • In March, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council Member and Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jerome Zeringue introduced House Bill 795 which would require the state to reimburse the LDWF resulting from free and discounted recreational hunting and fishing licenses created by the legislature.
  • The legislation passed the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment unanimously (9-0) on April 16. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted testimony to the Committee in support of the bill. On April 23, HB 795 passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support (97-3).
  • On May 8, the legislation passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee with no opposition. Prior to the Committee meeting, CSF submitted a coalition support letter with 10 partner organizations.

The coalition letter argued that HB 795 is critical to protect the $40 million for state-based conservation that hunters and anglers in Louisiana annually generate through the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding. The letter further submitted that HB 795 is important to pass as Louisiana’s hunters are a significant economic driver in the state supporting more than 10,000 jobs and generating over $70 million in state and local taxes.

If the legislation becomes law, Louisiana would be the fourth state to codify conservation funding protection for the state fish and wildlife agency from the issuance of free and discounted hunting and fishing licenses. Michigan, New Jersey, and Tennessee have similar statutes on the books, and several NASC-affiliated sportsmen’s caucuses in other states (e.g., Mississippi), are actively working to enshrine these protections in their state code as well.

The next step for HB 795 is the Senate floor. CSF appreciates the leadership of Representative Zeringue and the support of our partners advocating for this bill, and CSF will continue to work to support the bill’s advancement this session.

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