Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
Leaves crunch underfoot on those crisp fall mornings as we walk into a tree stand hoping today is the day the buck we've been watching since July shows himself. Mist burns off from the stream as the first trout of the day start to dimple the water to eat hatching bugs. These moments, and countless others just like them, are the stuff of dreams for outdoor enthusiasts, and their importance to our well-being goes far deeper than catching fish or harvesting a deer. This is a way of life, and the treasured memories gained with friends and family in nature are carried throughout a lifetime. It's easy to get swept away by the nostalgia or romance of it all, but it's also important to remember there are dedicated men and women working tirelessly far from the trout stream and deer stand to ensure that generations to come have the chance to enjoy these moments.
The group of devoted individuals working for the nonprofit Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) spend their days dealing with elected officials to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping for all Americans. Their all-encompassing efforts touch on both protection of public lands as well as conservation of the species we so passionately pursue. A key trait of CSF is their bipartisan nature. The interests they safeguard and fight for aren't defined by party lines, but what's best for those that continue our rich hunting and angling heritage.
Bipartisan contingencies of Members of Congress, governors, and state legislatures work together with CSF to examine over 5,000 proposed pieces of legislation every year, and determine the impact they might have on constituents. This unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials also works with state fish and wildlife agencies, the Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, and many other bureaus and offices within the Federal and state levels on a wide range of conservation issues.
Make no mistake, this isn't a lobbyist organization swayed by dollar signs and promises of political capital. The men and women of CSF work directly with the agencies mentioned above, as well as conservation and wildlife groups to protect not only the rights of individual sportsmen and women, but also fish and wildlife themselves. By having this boots-on-the-ground approach to safeguard hunting and angling traditions as well as fish and wildlife, quality outdoor experiences will be secure for generations to come.
Despite an increasingly hostile environment for hunting and fishing issues, the triumphs for CSF are many. One of the more notable and recent wins includes S.47, known as the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. This is the largest and most significant public lands package to pass Congress and be signed into law in decades. CSF is working with the current Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Department of the Interior to implement this piece of legislation.
Long time readers know that Wildwood Outfitters donates a portion of each guide trip to preservation of public lands for all to enjoy. CSF is extremely instrumental in this arena as well, having been the ones who conceived and then worked to pass the Making Public Lands Public (MPLP), a part of S.47. Recent studies show there are roughly 10 million acres of public land in 11 western states that are inaccessible to the general public thanks to being landlocked by private land. With the passage of MPLP, a certain percentage of funds appropriated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be dedicated to secure access to these public lands.
On a more localized level, CSF has been working closely with PA officials and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to open up Sunday hunting in the Keystone State. A few regional employees traveled to Pittsburgh earlier this month for a conference with state legislatures, the PGC, and conservation groups to touch base on Sunday hunting as well as the other issues Pennsylvania hunters and anglers are facing.
More information about the incredible work of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation can be found on their website by clicking here. Aside from the extensive content on the site, those interested may sign up for the weekly newsletter, The Sportsmen's Voice, or make a tax-deductible donation to support their work. Their track record of being the sportsmen's voice on Washington D.C. as well as state capitals across the country speaks for itself and is a large part of the reason why American hunters and anglers have the plethora of opportunities that we do. A big thanks is owed to CSF both for past victories and continued fights for our best interests.
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