By John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager
On June 20, legislation to constitutionally protect the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife in North Carolina passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support (44-4).
Senate Bill 677, sponsored by North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Senators Danny Earl Britt, Tom McInnis, and Norman Sanderson, would be presented to voters in the statewide November 2018 elections if passed by the legislature this session.
At the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee (Committee) meeting on June 20, representatives from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), the National Rifle Association, and Delta Waterfowl testified in favor of SB 677. CSF also provided a letter of support to Committee members. The legislation passed favorably out of Committee and moved to the Senate floor after being reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations on the same day.
As sporting traditions are increasingly threatened, right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife constitutional amendments are important to protect our outdoor heritage. 21 states, including every state adjacent to North Carolina, have amended their constitutions to protect the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.
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?