Seven major sportsmen’s groups from across the country hosted a teleconference calling on Congress to end the shutdown that has closed hundreds of wildlife refuges, Forest Service and BLM areas at the start of hunting seasons across the nation. Leaders from the sportsman-conservation community urged Congress and the administration to make habitat conservation efforts a priority.
The shutdown is limiting hunting opportunities and is hurting the country’s wildlife-related recreation economy, which in 2011 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated at more than $144 billion. For instance, the shutdown closed more than 329 federal wildlife refuges for hunting, and more than 271 are shut to fishing, affecting local economies.
These closures compound the cuts proposed by Congress to programs that conserve wildlife habitat, such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and others. The shutdown also undermines efforts to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which includes critical elements of national conservation policy.
Find out how the federal shutdown is affecting sportsmen and -women. Featuring top leaders and experts in the sportsman-conservation community including:
- Dr. Steve Williams, President, Wildlife Management Institute and former Director of the U. S. + Fish and Wildlife Service (Pennsylvania)
- Land Tawney, Executive Director, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (Montana)
- Whit Fosburgh, President/CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (Washington, D.C.)
- Gaspar Perricone, Co-Director, Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance (Colorado)
- Miles Moretti, President/CEO, Mule Deer Foundation (Utah)
- Howard Vincent, President & CEO, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever (Minnesota)
- Desirée Sorenson-Groves, Vice President, Government Affairs, National Wildlife Refuge Association (Washington, D.C.)
Listen to the telepresser and let us know how you are seeing the effects of the government shutdown.