Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator
On May 7, the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted the Whitewater Rafting Adventure at Riversport Adventures OKC in Oklahoma City.
The event brought together members of the Sportsmen’s Caucus, their fellow legislators, representatives from the state’s sportsmen and conservation community, Director J.D. Strong and staff from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), as well as members of the ODWC Commission. The Sportsmen’s Caucus is led by Co-Chairs Senators Mark Allen and J.J. Dossett, Representatives Jason Dunnington and Mike Sanders.
The event was held at Riversport Adventures OKC, a project of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, and provided a unique opportunity for an outdoor experience and a brief break from the legislative session. The day began with a tour of the relatively new facility in downtown Oklahoma City. There, attendees observed the training courses used by Olympic hopefuls. Attendees were able to experience whitewater rafting.
During lunch, Sen. Dossett addressed the crowd to provide more information on the Sportsmen’s Caucus, as well as the important role played by Oklahoma’s sportsmen and women.
“Our goal with the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is to engage with our sportsmen and women here in Oklahoma,” said Sen. Dossett. “We view ourselves as a vehicle for them to share their thoughts with the legislature, and we seek to continue to grow and connect with our constituents in the sportsmen’s community who contributed over $41 million last year to the management of our natural resources.”
“Last week we brought together a group of nearly 40 legislators from the Oklahoma House and Senate to raft at Oklahoma City’s premier whitewater facility,” said Rep. Dunnington. “Whether rural or urban, Democratic or Republican, all that mattered was having a good time and staying in the boat. The experience was unique and helped the Oklahoma chapter add many new members to the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. We look forward to going back next year.”
Support for the Whitewater Rafting Adventure was provided by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Oklahoma Rural Water Association. A special thanks also goes to Cordon DeKock and the Oklahoma State Chamber for their efforts in helping coordinate this exciting and unique event.
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?