Contact: Keely Hopkins, Pacific States Assistant Manager
Why It Matters: Oregon’s hunters, anglers, and trappers have long played a vital role in funding conservation and wildlife management efforts throughout the state. Under the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), a unique “user pays–public benefits” structure, Oregon’s sportsmen and women generate tens of millions of dollars each year for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). These funds are generated through fishing and hunting license sales and through an 11% excise tax paid on sporting-related goods via the Pittman-Robertson Act. In addition to IP 13 restricting over 940,000 sportsmen and women from their outdoor pursuits of hunting, fishing, and trapping, the prohibition on these activities would result in a substantial decrease of revenue for Oregon’s critical conservation, habitat restoration, and wildlife management efforts.
“End Animal Cruelty”, an animal rights activist group in Oregon, received approval from the Oregon Secretary of State on July 15 to begin gathering signatures to qualify Initiative Petition 13 for the 2022 ballot. If proponents are successful in gathering the required 112,020 signatures, IP 13 will be placed on the November 2022 ballot, where Oregon voters will decide the fate of hunting and fishing in the state.
If passed, IP 13 would end all hunting, fishing, and trapping, which would immediately impact Oregon’s 940,000 sportsmen and women who participate in the outdoors in support of conservation efforts, food procurement, and tradition. The proposed initiative would also significantly impact the state’s ability to manage and protect its natural resources, wildlife, and public lands. Without sportsmen-generated revenue through license and tag sales, along with excise the tax revenue generated through Pittman-Robertson for sporting-related purchases, ODFW would have their budget drastically cut by almost one half. ODFW, the primary stewards of protecting and enhancing our states wildlife and their habitat, would lose over $50 million dollars annually from hunting and fishing license sales alone.
Hunters, anglers, and conservationists have all united as a coalition in opposition to this egregious initiative, with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) on the frontlines and serving as a member of the Steering Committee. CSF will continue to fight these proposed restrictions throughout each step of the process.
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?