July 12, 2021

New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council Elects New Leadership, Begins Preparing for 2022 at Annual Board Meeting

Contact: Nick Lewis, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator


Why it Matters: The New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council (NYSAC) serves a crucial role in advancing pro-hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping policies in the Empire State. NYSAC and its members realized several legislative successes this year, including monumental, caucus-driven efforts to lower the hunting age for big game with a firearm to 12 years old. NYSAC provides a solid foundation for synergy amongst conservation groups across the state and its support is critical to the work of the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

On Tuesday, July 6, the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council (NYSAC) hosted its annual Board meeting, during which elections were held for two Board members and the leadership roles of Chair and Vice-Chair. Bill Schwerd, representing New York 4-H Shooting Sports, and Larry Becker, a general sportsmen’s advocate, were re-elected to their positions as NYSAC Board members. Following this election, Bill Schwerd received a unanimous vote to serve as the NYSAC Chair, while former Chairman Bill Wilbur, representing the New York Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was similarly elected to the position of Vice-Chair.

NYSAC was formed in 2012 by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) to provide on-the-ground assistance to the bipartisan and bicameral New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in Albany, NY. Over the years NYSAC has assisted in a wide variety of event planning and policy efforts, and it works to leverage the knowledge and resources of each of the member organizations and individuals to speak in a united voice on matters related to hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping and to support the work of the Caucus.

During this meeting, Nick Lewis, the Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator for CSF provided a post-session legislative update. In the briefing, Nick discussed several pieces of anti-firearms legislation that made it to the Governor’s desk, including S.7196 which was signed into law on July 6. This law makes gun crimes a public nuisance, opening the firearms industry and all down-stream parties up to litigation for the illegal use of firearms. On the positive side, New York passed a law earlier in the session that lowered the hunting age to 12 for counties that wish to opt-in. Lowering the hunting age was a decade-long concerted effort by the Caucus, NYSAC, and CSF, and is cause for celebration throughout the community.

CSF congratulates the newly elected leadership team and stands ready to work alongside all NYSAC members towards supporting the Caucus as they work to protect and advance of our time-honored sporting traditions in New York.

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?

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