By Nick Buggia, Midwestern States Manager
On January 11, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Upper Midwestern States Manager Nick Buggia participated in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Roundtable.
Each year, the Minnesota DNR hosts a Roundtable, which gathers stakeholders and conservation leaders to discuss fisheries, wildlife, water resources, and other ecological issues in the state.
The theme of this year’s Roundtable was the Future of Conservation Funding, and discussion on what conservation funding might look like moving forward was varied and diverse. The meeting started off with remarks from DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, National Wild Turkey Federation CEO Becky Humphries, and Governor Tim Walz. The message was clear: Minnesota’s leaders recognize the important role sportsmen and women play in the state, and they are dedicated to ensuring Minnesota’s outdoor heritage remains strong well into the future.
After the opening comments, various breakout sessions addressed a number of important topics. CSF staff attended sessions on ecological and water recourses, the future of conservation funding in Minnesota, and angling access and aquatic invasive spices. The panelists provided substantial information and insight on the DNR’s goals heading into 2019. They facilitated discussion and the exchange of ideas between the panelists and the attendees.
CSF staff exchanged ideas with legislators, conservation partners, DNR staff, and Governor Walz. “Along with the benefits of participating in the Roundtable itself, I was able to build many new relationships in Minnesota and strengthen old ones. The DNR did an amazing job organizing this event,” said Buggia. “I look forward to working with the DNR and in-state partners on ensuring the future of conservation funding and management of Minnesota’s bountiful natural resources.”
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?