On June 1, the 78th Nevada Legislature came to a close, with a number of pro-sportsmen bills receiving significant attention during the session.
One major victory for Nevada’s sportsmen and women during the 2015 session was the passage of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 11. The bill, introduced by Nevada Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Scott Hammond, adds the right to hunt, fish, and trap to the Nevada State Constitution. The bill received strong support from in-state sportsmen’s groups, including both the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife and the Southern Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife, both of which represent a wide range of sportsmen’s organizations across the state. SJR 11 passed both the Senate and Assembly, making a significant step towards bring amended into the state’s constitution. The bill will now need to pass again during the 2017 legislative session and then will be referred to the statewide ballot to be decided by the Nevada voters.
Another major piece of legislation to receive consideration during the session was Senate Bill 163, which would have created the Advisory Council on Nevada Wildlife Conservation and Education within the Nevada Department of Wildlife. SB 163, also sponsored by Senator Hammond, sought to create a council similar to the “Hug a Hunter, Hug an Angler” program in Colorado and the recently created Michigan Wildlife Council; both of which utilize input from sportsmen and other stakeholder groups to craft educational campaigns informing the general public about the critical economic and conservation benefits of hunting and angling. While SB 163 ultimately did not pass during the session, there will hopefully be a continued push to institute the wildlife council concept in the coming years.
Each year, Nevada’s 163,000 hunters and anglers spend $409 million and support 5,300 jobs in 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?