On January 6, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus sponsored the 2017 “Restoring Mattamuskeet Lodge” Economic Development Summit in Hyde County, North Carolina.
The purpose of the Summit was to raise awareness and build legislative support for the restoration of Mattamuskeet Lodge which is located on Lake Mattamuskeet, the largest natural lake in North Carolina and a famous destination for waterfowl hunters. Placed on the National Historic Register in 1980, Mattamuskeet Lodge was gifted to the state of North Carolina in 2006, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is in the process of renovating the facility with the intent to once again make it available for public use
The event showcased the historical, cultural, and recreational significance of Mattamuskeet Lodge which, up until recently, was operated as a hunting lodge since the 1930s. Once Mattamuskeet Lodge is reopened to the public, it will serve as an economic driver for the region which is renowned for its world class bear and waterfowl hunting. Currently, North Carolina’s 1.6 million hunters and anglers support over 35,000 jobs in the state and spend over $2.3 billion annually.
During the event, CSF Central Appalachian States Coordinator John Culclasure promoted the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and its role advancing policies that support North Carolina’s sporting traditions.
Ashton Godwin, Legislative Liaison for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, remarked, “The event was a tremendous opportunity to highlight the work to renovate Mattamuskeet Lodge while supporting North Carolina’s longstanding outdoor heritage. The reopening of the Mattamuskeet Lodge would provide for the enjoyment and conservation of the region’s natural and cultural resources and encourage sustainable economic development.”
Other sponsors of the event included Dare to Hyde Adventures and Cross Trail Outfitters.
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?