On January 16, U.S. Senator John McCain and Arizona House Speaker Representative David Gowan were honored by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission at a banquet in Phoenix. As recipients of the federal and state Advocate of the Year awards respectively, Senator McCain and Speaker Gowan were recognized as individuals who have contributed significantly to the conservation of the state’s wildlife, its outdoor heritage, and the mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). Senator McCain is a Member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and Speaker Gowan serves as President of Arizona Legislators for Wildlife.
“It is truly an honor to be named Arizona Game and Fish’s 2015 Advocate of the Year, and I thank AZGFD for this distinction” said Senator McCain. “Throughout my career, I’ve drawn upon the legacies of Mo Udall and Teddy Roosevelt whose service inspired me to promote conservation and protect our national treasures for the enjoyment of future generations. In just the last year alone, I was proud to partner with AZGFD to tackle critical environmental issues for Arizona, including passing out of Committee a commonsense plan to address the unmanageable bison population degrading Grand Canyon National Park; restoring vital trout-stocking operations at Willow Beach Fish Hatchery in Mohave County; and advancing policies addressing catastrophic wildfire and crippling drought. I thank AZGFD for this tremendous honor, and look forward to continuing our longstanding efforts to address these and other challenges facing our state.”
Commissioner Kurt Davis, Chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, also lauded Senator McCain’s efforts at the federal level. “Senator John McCain has served our nation on the battlefield and he has served our nation and state with distinction in the U.S. Senate. His commitment to our citizens by championing numerous pieces of legislation to protect and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities for all is another example of his stellar record of service. Whether it is working to increase shooting, hunting, angling or recreational access, Senator McCain has always stood with the sportsmen community, while continuing to be a leading advocate for maintaining and strengthening the state’s primary role in wildlife management authority.”
Speaker Gowan stated, “First off I’d like to thank Arizona Game and Fish for being such an amazing advocate of the outdoors and helping people experience the environment in a free and secure state like Arizona. It is an honor to be awarded Arizona Game and Fish’s 2015 state Advocate of the Year award and to be recognized for the efforts I have made to keep Arizona’s environment and state parks accessible and enjoyable. Having been a life-long hunter and outdoorsman, I have tried to emulate the traits and graces that were extended to me by my parents, and pass them down to future generations, in order to allow them to have the same experiences that I was fortunate to have growing up. Some of my fondest memories are going out camping and being taught how to shoot and hunt, and it is my desire that future generations are able to have these same experiences in our amazing environment that AZGFD has so skillfully managed.”
For more information on state and federal issues of interest to sportsmen and women in Arizona, please contact CSF Western States Director Andy Treharne at email@example.com.
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?