February 12, 2024

Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus Holds First Meeting of the 2024 Legislative Session

Article Contact: Keely Hopkins,

Why It Matters: With the success of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus in Washington D.C., the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) next set out to create a network of state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses; and, in 2004, the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) was launched. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 state legislators who are members of individual state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses in all 50 states, all united under the NASC umbrella. By fostering communication and interaction between and among state legislators, sportsmen’s groups, industry and media, the NASC and state sportsmen’s caucuses are the core of the legislative front protecting and advancing hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping and professional fish and wildlife management in state legislatures.

Highlights:

· On February 8th, the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus convened for its first meeting of 2024, shortly following the legislature convening the session on February 5th.

· Under the leadership of Caucus Co-Chairs Senator David Brock Smith and Representative Mark Owens, the caucus voted to support five pieces of legislation impacting wildlife and fisheries management and conservation efforts in the Beaver State.

· The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, along with partners from the Oregon Hunters Association, Northwest Steelheaders, and Oregon Trappers Association, joined the Caucus for their first meeting to discuss policies being considered during the session.

Just days after the Oregon Legislature convened for the 2024 legislative session, the Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus met on February 8th to discuss bills that could impact wildlife and fisheries management, habitat, and conservation efforts throughout the state. Led by Senator David Brock Smith and Representative Mark Owens, the Caucus and representatives of the outdoor sporting community started their day at the Capitol early with a 7:00am meeting to avoid conflicts with committee hearings.

While the 2024 session is considered a “short session” with only 35 days allotted to conduct business, there are still dozens of bills that have been introduced that would impact Oregon’s outdoor heritage and conservation. During the February 8th meeting, the Caucus voted to support five pieces of legislation, with more to be considered at the next meeting. Notably, the Caucus voted to support House Bill 4148, an omnibus wildlife bill that includes critical funding and funding mechanisms for Chronic Wasting Disease research and testing, invasive species management, and to help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions with wildlife corridors. This bill has also been established as a priority by numerous sportsmen’s groups in Oregon, including Ducks Unlimited, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Wild Sheep Foundation, Oregon State Shooting Sports Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will be working with members of the Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus, along with coalition partners in the Oregon Sportsmen’s Conservation Partnership, to support bills that protect and advance hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and trapping throughout the session.

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