By: Jens Ames
During a previous internship, I was asked to watch a Zoom webinar on a recently signed executive order, committing the U.S. to protecting 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030 (30 by 30). As I logged on, I did not recognize the organization hosting the webinar, but I was struck by the impressive bipartisan array of members of Congress in attendance. Following the webinar, I decided to learn more about the organization, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). A quick Google search on CSF left me extremely intrigued, and following more research, I decided to apply for their Brad Rowse Internship program.
Since I walked into CSF’s Capitol Hill office on day one, my internship experience was overwhelmingly positive, and beneficial. Working with the States Program Team deepened my understanding of the complexity of sportsmen’s-related policy. Assisting them with projects and listening in on meetings exposed me to issues ranging from marine conservation in the Gulf of Mexico to wolf reintroduction in Colorado. Both the breadth and depth of the work of the States Program Team is remarkable, and I am grateful to have learned from this group of experts. I owe a special thank you to Brent Miller, Gary Kania, and Nick Lewis for the time they dedicated to assisting me over the summer.
As someone who is passionate about national politics and federal policy, I am also very appreciative of Jeff Crane and Taylor Schmitz. Even as President and CEO of CSF, Jeff took time to reach out to me and the other interns. In addition to making me feel welcome, Jeff helped me understand the relationships between the various stakeholders in Washington, something which cannot be learned in a classroom. I also thoroughly enjoyed discussing federal issues with Taylor, whether we were talking about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act or nominees for appointments in the current Administration. Taylor also took time to get to know me on a personal level and was always happy to provide valuable advice.
Now that my summer at CSF has concluded, I look back and am very glad to have stumbled upon that 30 by 30 Zoom webinar. I cannot say enough good things about CSF, and I would encourage anyone interested in learning about policy and sportsmen’s issues to apply for the Brad Rowse Internship program.
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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?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (6.06%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.63%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.89%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.91%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.26%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.26%)