Monday, December 10, 2007

Alaska Becomes the 34th State Sportsmen’s Caucus

With the announcement of the newly-formed Alaska Sportsmen’s Caucus, more than half of the state legislature joined as founding members and vowed to shine more of a spotlight on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in the state. “This caucus it a tool to address a lot of the erosion of the hunting and outdoors heritage in the country and Alaska,” commented Rep. Bill Stoltze, who represented the Alaska Caucus at the recent NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit held in Branson, Missouri. “It's a mechanism for legislation to promote hunter safety, wildlife education and firearm safety among kids. It is also about preservation of the state's heritage and hunting and fishing resources, not conservation by locking up everything to hunting and fishing.”
The Caucus is co-chaired by House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, and Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla. The group, officially named the Alaska Legislative Outdoor Heritage Caucus, will team up with other states’ caucuses under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. Alaska is the 34th state to form a caucus under the NASC.
Rep. Harris said, “the caucus would serve as a voice for Alaska sportsmen and women and help lawmakers protect against loss of habitat, urbanization, lack of proven predator-prey management and outside national organizations who voice anti-hunting and anti-fishing programs.”

State Legislators and Highly Recognized Conservation Authorities Gather At Sportsman-Legislator Summit
From Alaska to Florida and from New Mexico to New Hampshire and states in between, hunters and anglers were represented by their state legislators at the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Fourth Annual Sportsman-Legislator Summit in Branson, Missouri.
Record breaking attendance of 40 state legislators, including an unprecedented number of legislators from new states, signaled that sportsmen’s issues have moved up the legislative priority list at the state level. In total, the Summit brought together a collective group of more than 100 highly recognized individuals from state legislatures, state and federal wildlife agencies, national conservation organizations and private industry to zero in on issues that will shape the future health of hunting and fishing in America.
Issues examined included, better management practices for wildlife, the need for dedicated state funding and the emerging and important issue of Marine Protected Areas, as well as creative tactics being deployed by the anti-gun and anti-fishing/hunting lobbies.“I have attended this meeting since it first took place in 2004 and every year I learn about trends in other states that I can implement back in Idaho to benefit sportsmen, as well as being made aware of legislation that I need to be on the look out for,” commented Idaho State Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Langhorst, who serves on the NASC Executive Council.
Attendees left Branson, Missouri with a more tangible realization that hunting and fishing are not just outdoor activities, but are also economic drivers in every state, creating jobs and contributing to the state and local tax base. With this in mind, sportsmen caucus legislators vowed to return to their home states with a concentrated effort on introducing pro-sportsman legislation during the 2008 legislative session. It is no coincidence that since NASC was launched the number of pro-sportsmen’s bills introduced and passed has more than doubled. With 34 affiliated state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses, the strength and synergy of NASC is rapidly increasing
“The commitment and cooperative nature of this year’s summit was unparalleled by any year before, setting the stage for NASC and state sportsmen’s caucuses around the country to be more proactive than ever before,” commented Jeff Crane, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation president.
The NASC 4th Annual Legislator-Summit was hosted by the Missouri Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Missouri Conservation Federation, in partnership with Bass Pro Shops. The title sponsor was the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The presenting sponsor was Anheuser Busch and the activity sponsor was the American Forest Foundation.

Dedicated Legislators Elected to NASC Executive Council
During the NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit, five legislators were elected by their peers to the NASC Executive Council (EC) to serve a two-year term. Senator David Langhorst (ID), Representative Mike Burris (AR) and Representative Mark Gergely (PA) were reelected, and new members Representative Jason Brown (MO) and Representative Carl Isett (TX) were elected to their first term. NASC is fortunate to have quality legislators serving on the EC. Their insights, counsel and guidance have been invaluable to increasing the role of NASC as the leader assisting state legislators who are promoting a pro-sportsmen’s agenda.

CSF Selects Allan Ellis as New Communications Director
Allan Ellis was recently selected as the new Communications Director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. Allan will be responsible for the day-to-day production of news, updates and press releases for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses.
Allan brings over 25 years of publishing and broadcasting experience as well as his years of experience as the Promotions Manager for Bass Pros Shops Maryland location. Allan lives in Baltimore County, Maryland with his wife Kathy. They have two grown children and enjoy their two young grandchildren. He enjoys deer and waterfowl hunting and all styles of fresh and saltwater fishing. Allan publishes the ‘Maryland Deer and Waterfowl Hunting Guide’ annual magazine and hosts the popular ‘Outdoorsman Radio Show’.
“We are pleased to welcome Allan to the Foundation,” said Jeff Crane, President of CSF. “Allan’s understanding of our goals, his experience and his passion for the outdoors are the attributes we were hoping for.”
“I’ve been familiar with the important work of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Congressional Sportsman Caucus as well as National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses for a number of years. I’ve worked with CSF on their annual banquets and attended their events, stated Ellis “This position will allow me to share with others how the mission of CSF and NASC affects and protects our heritage and traditions of hunting and fishing.”

The Sportsman's Link to Congress and State Capitols
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses 110 North Carolina Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003

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