On May 3, the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted its Annual Sportsman-Legislator Breakfast, which was attended by more than 40 Caucus members, state and national conservation organizations, key members of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and allied-industry partners to celebrate the Empire State’s outdoor sporting heritage.
The morning featured remarks from Caucus Co-Chairs Assembly Member Aileen Gunther and Senator Joseph Griffo, who spoke on the importance of hunting and angling to the Empire State, and several policy initiatives that will help strengthen New York’s sporting heritage in the years ahead. Executive Deputy Commissioner Kenneth Lynch spoke about DEC’s efforts to expand hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the state.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Northeastern States Director Brent Miller presented information on the vast economic and conservation funding benefits that sportsmen and women provide. New York’s 2.11 million hunters and anglers spend $4.95 billion annually and support 56,014 jobs. Further, through the American System of Conservation Funding, the DEC receives more than $80 million in critical conservation funds from New York hunters and anglers.
Finally, the Chairman of the New York Sportsmen’s Advisory Council, Rick McDermott, discussed some of the critical issues facing New York legislators this session, including protecting the American System of Conservation Funding; protecting the management authority of the DEC; establishing a universal hunting age of 12; expanding crossbow allowances; and legalizing the use of firearm suppressors.
Sponsors included the American Suppressor Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
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?