Contact: Mark Lance, Southeastern States Coordinator
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) hosted a policy reception and forum on July 11 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma during the 76th Annual Meeting of the Council of State Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference.
- Approximately 50 guests, including more than two dozen legislators from AL, GA, KY, MS, OK, SC, and TX gathered to celebrate the South’s rich outdoor sporting heritage.
- Policy discussions were focused on state conservation funding mechanisms and initiatives to increase public hunting and fishing access.
Why It Matters: This CSF-organized event facilitated interaction among members of NASC, state fish and wildlife agency staff, and representatives from various sportsmen’s organizations. Having the opportunity for attendees to share recent policy successes and lessons learned from their states with others from across the region is incredibly important to the advancement of our shared outdoor sporting traditions.
In 2004, the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses was created by CSF to provide the structure necessary to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, trapping, and professional fish and wildlife management in state capitols. 18 years later, NASC is comprised of more than 2,000 state legislators from 49 states.
Former NASC Executive Council (EC) President and current NASC EC Member, and Kentucky Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Robin Webb spoke to guests about the importance of working together to protect the interests of Southern hunters, anglers, trappers and recreational shooters.
In addition to Senator Webb’s address, CSF’s John Culclasure, Director, Southeastern States and Forest Policy, reaffirmed the fact that hunters and anglers are the primary funders of conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Ensuring public access to hunting and fishing opportunities is critical for future of the ASCF and supporting the management of fish and wildlife resources.
Ed Penny, Southern Regional Director of Public Policy for Ducks Unlimited, highlighted the recent successes of the Louisiana and Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses to establish additional sources of conservation funding in their states. Chris Tymeson, Western States and Local Liaison for Safari Club International, spoke about Safari Club International’s efforts to combat predator hunting bans and ensure public hunting access for sportsmen and women.
Attendees were also encouraged to register for the upcoming 19th Annual NASC Sportsmen Legislator Summit (NASC Summit). This year’s NASC Summit’s theme is Force Multiplier: Leveraging the Combined Power of State Legislative Sportsmen's Caucuses and the Sporting Community and is scheduled to take place November 29 – December 1 in Bozeman, MT.
The Southern Legislative Policy Reception and Forum was made possible thanks to support from Ducks Unlimited, Reynolds American, the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and Safari Club International.
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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. (6.09%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.55%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.98%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.95%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.12%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.31%)