Last week marked week two of SCI’s Big 5 Summer Series with this session focusing on State Management Authority and Pittman-Robertson. Through the Summer Series, SCI has been highlighting the most pressing issues affecting hunting and conservation around the world through panels, informative sessions, and testimony from experts.
The week featured informative videos from Ben Cassidy and Melissa Bachman discussing the latest legislative issues affecting sportsmen. Additionally, SCI’s Eastern States Liaison, Bee Frederick and Western States Liaison, Chris Tymeson sat down with five different state directors from around the country discussing issues such as state management authority, Pittman-Robertson, the RETURN ACT, and predator management.
SCI strongly supports state fish and wildlife agencies’ authority to manage the natural resources within their respective states. State wildlife managers and agency personnel provide technical expertise that is crucial to sustainable management, and these trained experts within the agencies ensure that management decisions and on the ground conservation efforts are done so with a personal and strong understanding of their potential impacts on the resource, users, and agency goals. SCI extends a huge thank you to the following agency leaders for sharing their expertise:
- Missouri Department of Conservation Director Sarah Pauley
- Nebraska Department of Game and Parks Director Tim McCoy
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams
- Nevada Division of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley
- Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Bryan Nesvik
Each Director provided a unique perspective, but all noted the importance of Pittman-Robertson and how much it funds the work of every State Wildlife Agency in the country. Since 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act has put $15 billion towards wildlife conservation, hunter recruitment, construction of public shooting ranges and other activities. Unfortunately, Congressman Andrew Clyde (GA-R) introduced the RETURN (Repealing Excise Tax on Unalienable Rights Now) our Constitutional Rights Act which would eliminate Pittman-Robertson funding to State Wildlife Agencies. SCI is strongly opposed to this bill and believes that eliminating these funds, which are allocated to all 50 states, would place state wildlife agencies – and critical conservation efforts – in severe financial jeopardy. Use this link to stand up against this anti-conservation bill in Congress!
Another threat to state management authority introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), H.R. 7398, the Prohibited Wildlife Killing Contests Act of 2022, would ban predator killing contests on federal lands. Wildlife management decisions, including predator control, should be left to state wildlife management agencies and not dictated across-the-board by Congress. Act now!
SCI is grateful for the participation of these State Directors and those who attended. A full recording of the panel can be found with this link. Thank you for doing your part in becoming more educated and alert to the threats hunters are facing around the world.
SCI’s third and final week will focus on Lead Ammunition and No-Net-Loss. You don’t want to miss it – learn more here! https://safariclub.org/big-five-series/