By Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On February 14, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted its first breakfast event of the year. These breakfasts bring together legislators, conservation organizations, and staff from the Department of Natural Recourses (DNR) and Natural Resource Commission to discuss conservation issues in the state.
Returning Michigan Caucus Co-Chair Representative Tristan Cole is joined this year by new Co-Chair Representative Leslie Love. In the Senate, returning Co-Chair Senator Jon Bumstead is joined by Senator Adam Hollier.
“The Michigan Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus breakfast was an outstanding start to the 100th Legislature. There was an incredible turnout from elected officials throughout the state from both chambers and both sides of the isle,” said Rep. Cole. “It is a privilege to be joined by Senator Jon Bumstead, Senator Adam Hollier, and Representative Leslie Love as new Caucus Co-Chairs. Both urban and rural communities are well represented within Caucus leadership and membership as a whole.”
Rep. Love has been active in the Caucus for the last few years, and now serves in a leadership capacity. “It was a great event with a lot of support for the 2019 Sportsman’s Caucus,” said Rep. Love. “I was particularly proud to have recruited more Democratic members to participate; we had five women, including myself, and three men. The Caucus is more regionally and culturally diverse and inclusive. This level of participation benefits the Caucus and the individuals who participate. It’s the type of inclusion we seek in this endeavor, and I am excited to serve as a Co-Chair.”
Sen. Bumstead was also Co-Chair when he served in the State House of Representatives. As a newly elected Senator, it was natural for him to be chosen to serve as a Co-Chair again. “As a returning Co-Chair of the Michigan Sportsmen’s Caucus, I’m happy to see new and old faces at the first Caucus breakfast of 2019,” Sen. Bumstead said. “We had a great turnout for the first breakfast and moving forward I’d like to see more folks participating. My number one goal is to make Sportsmen’s Caucus breakfasts a place where legislators and stakeholders can get together to discuss the pros and cons of pending legislation. I encourage everyone in the Caucus to come prepared with your thoughts or ideas so we can have impactful discussions on bills that directly affect our members.”
The breakfast was sponsored by the Michigan Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council, a group of conservation organizations that assist the caucus in policy development and events. The breakfast had approximately 30 legislators in attendance, a large representation form the Michigan DNR and conservation organizations from across the state.
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?