Maryland HB 797, introduced by Delegate Maggie McIntosh, passed the Maryland House of Delegates on Monday, March 25, with a strong bipartisan vote of 130-3. HB 797, initially introduced on February 6, would help promote access to Maryland’s fishable waters by requiring transportation projects to consider the feasibility of waterway access along the state’s roads and bridges. Lack of access is one of the primary reasons that lapsed recreational anglers give when asked why they no longer participate in their sport. This effort is supported by the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation (the Advisory Council that works alongside the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to protect and advance sportsmen’s traditions in Maryland), the American Sportfishing Association, the Chesapeake Conservancy, Maryland Bass Angler’s Sportsmen’s Society, and many other conservation organizations.
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?