(Note from Conservation Director Chris Horton: "BASS is very fortunate to have partners like the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, which provides a platform for reaching out to state legislators on behalf of anglers. This year, I was able to speak to legislators from numerous states concerning angler access issues. These people have the power to make a positive difference for anglers and hunters everywhere. With their help, we can secure access to our waters for generations to come.")
Setting the Course for A Better, Stronger Future for Hunting and Fishing In America
National Sportsman-Legislator Summit Brings Together Hunters, Anglers and Lawmakers
At a recent national Sportsman-Legislator Summit, state legislators from around the country met to discuss issues that impact hunters and anglers at the state and national level. The Summit was hosted by the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC), an umbrella organization that forms and serves state sportsmen's caucuses around the country. Currently there are 29 state sportsmen's caucuses with more than 2,000 state legislators affiliated. The sole purpose of the caucuses is to represent sportsmen's issues in state legislatures by defeating anti-legislation and promoting a pro-sportsmen's agenda.
The 3rd Annual Sportsman-Legislator Summit held at the International Game Fish Association, where more than 100 people gathered, including 30 legislators who met with leaders from the sportsmen's community. The Summit focused on issues ranging from angling access, public and private land access, recruitment, funding for fish and wildlife agencies and ensuring healthy fish and wildlife habitats. Participants discussed solutions that the sportsmen's caucuses could carry home and implement in their states. The Summit also focused on strengthening communications and relationships between state sportsmen's caucuses, state fish and wildlife agencies and sportsmen's organizations, a partnership that has proven to be a strong force in enhancing hunting and fishing opportunities at the state level."The challenges to the future of hunting and fishing have not changed," commented Jeff Crane, with the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses. "But how we develop strategies to address these issues is evolving. The laws we pass today will set the course for a better, stronger future for hunting and fishing in America."
As the only forum that provides a venue for focused discussion and interaction between state legislators and sportsmen's organizations, the NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit is an important event for the entire sporting community. The impact of the policies crafted, debated and enacted by our nation's legislatures is critical and far reaching."The meeting led to the NASC platform for advancing a pro-sportsmen's agenda and presenting a unified front in the halls of state government, solidifying the strategy for how state sportsmen's causes will move forward during the 2007 legislative session," said Maryland Senator John Astle (D-Annapolis), President of the NASC Executive Council.