On January 20, the Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted their first meeting since formally reorganizing as a caucus in 2016. The meeting was held to gather members of the Caucus and to discuss the legislative priorities for Tennessee’s sportsmen and women in the 2016 session.
The informational and organizational meeting was led by Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Jay Reedy and Senator Mike Bell, who discussed the form and function of the Caucus and their goals moving forward. Additionally, National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) President and State Senator Robin Webb (KY) addressed the group on the important role of sportsmen’s caucuses at the state level and outlined how the NASC network is the only nationwide program bringing together legislators interested in protecting and advancing their state’s rich outdoor sporting traditions. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Southeastern States Manager Bee Frederick also presented to the group, focusing on best practices for caucus functionality and providing an overview of the CSF/NASC structure.
“We hope our colleagues will join us in this important endeavor to protect and advance these great traditions and support professional fish and wildlife management,” said Representative Reedy. “Hunting, fishing, [recreational] shooting, trapping, and all of our outdoor recreational activities are truly a way of life here in Tennessee. Let’s do all we can to protect these traditions for future generations.”
Senator Bell continued, “In addition to protecting fishing and hunting for future generations of Tennesseans to enjoy, the almost one million hunters and anglers in our state spend about $2.9 billion annually and support over 27,000 jobs. They are a very important part of our economy. I am very encouraged about the feedback we have already received about this Caucus and look forward to working with Rep. Reedy and other colleagues to support our sportsmen and women in this state.”
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?