Agenda

Fri, Dec 10

7:00 AM

8:00 AM

Breakfast

When people think of an environmentalist/conservationist, the first image that may pop into some minds is that of a farmer, though it should be an image shared by many. Farmers are the ultimate environmentalists and conservationists because they make their living off the land and go to great lengths to protect that land. Whether it is through no-till farming, the planting of buffer strips, water re-use systems or a myriad of other conservation practices, farmers are constantly seeking ways to protect the land.

8:00 AM

8:30 AM

State Caucus Updates

Regional States Program Team staff members for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation will give a presentation on the activities of state caucuses (by region), highlighting unique examples of events, communications deliverables, and key policy victories.

8:30 AM

10:00 AM

Hunting and Angling Access

30x30: Opportunity to Further American-Led Conservation in Front of a Global Audience?
“30 by 30” is a global initiative to conserve 30% of the globe’s lands and waters (both marine and freshwater) by the year 2030. As America’s original conservationists, the hunting and fishing community has proactively supported strategic efforts to conserve our nation’s terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems for more than a century. We’ve been the catalyst that has already positioned the United States as a worldwide leader in conservation. The President’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” report released earlier this year reflected many of the hunting and fishing communities’ principles, and as the administration and Congress move forward with defining the initiative in the United States, we need to continue to ensure America’s original conservationists and private landowners have a seat at the table.

Continuing the Leadership of American Waterfowl Hunters in International Conservation
Waterfowl hunters have long understood the relationship between habitat investment and management, and wildlife population health. Through scientific inquiry led by hunters and professional fish and wildlife managers, sophisticated continental-scale wetland conservation efforts have been underway for decades providing waterfowl the resources they need as well as creating recreational opportunities for all people. Over the course of this rich history, monitoring and management techniques have been developed as well as funding mechanisms established that set waterfowl up for long-term success. Presenters from state and private sectors will share insights into the roots and legacy of waterfowl conservation and what we must do to ensure that our skies are filled with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.

10:00 AM

10:30 AM

Fellowship and Refreshment Break

Join us for a refreshment break in the exhibitor area and stop by exhibitor booths to enter a raffle

10:30 AM

12:00 PM

Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Investing in State Wildlife Action Plans to Meet Conservation Challenges
Speakers will jointly set the stage for a dialogue around the importance of the federal Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) and State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPS) to the future of conservation efforts both at the state and national level. RAWA has the potential for significant impact across the country, increasing capacity for investments by state wildlife agencies in land management efforts and projects supporting habitat conservation and resilient landscapes. Speakers will address partnerships and collaborative work with stakeholders in several states to assist the development of State Wildlife Action Plan with cutting edge science on resilient and connected lands. Speakers will also consider the connection to the “American the Beautiful” initiative, framing RAWA as a tool to achieve conservation benefits through objective, science-driven stewardship that supports and secures a healthy future for outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing across the country.

More Than a Discount: The Challenging Politics of Free Licenses
Well intentioned efforts to honor our nation's public servants are a perennial issue at state legislatures, and often take the shape of a discount on license fees or tags that have implications for revenue streams critical to funding agency conservation efforts. This session will discuss interacting with such proposals, including the inherent risk in opposing such legislation, and share strategies for arriving at solutions that are consistent with the North American Model of Conservation.

Rooting through the Mud: Wild Pig Information for All States
Management of invasive wild pigs is an increasingly relevant problem across the USA. For sportspeople, this is an especially critical management need to protect native ecosystems and species that provide outdoor opportunities. Dr. Tomeček will describe the pressing matters of wild pig management today, and introduce the National Wild Pig Task Force, a uniting body nationwide for coordinating the management of this species that threatens ecosystems, agriculture, and human health.

12:00 PM

1:00 PM

Lunch - Reaching Diverse Audiences to Attract New Hunters

The demographics of America are changing, and the hunting community needs to embrace diversity going forward to stay viable and relevant. In this panel, the National Wild Turkey Federation's Mandy Harling and John Motovil off highlight challenges and strategies to reach out to new audiences, and new hunter Morgan Morales shares her experiences of learning to hunt through a mentoring program for adults.

1:00 PM

3:00 PM

Safeguarding our Sporting Heritage

Politization of Hunting
Hunting has become more politicized than ever before. Whether through ballot initiatives, legislation, or personnel the bipartisan nature of hunting has been challenged, the benefits to conservation obscured and the science denied. This session will give an overview of the national landscape, identify emerging trends and address what is being done to protect our hunting heritage.

Protecting The Firearm Industry and Gun Owners During The Pandemic and Beyond
The pandemic brought several issues to light, like the possibility of firearm manufacturers, retailers, and distributors being shutdown, and gun owners being denied the ability to acquire needed permits and opportunities to train with newly purchased firearms. However, the industry was facing issues long before the pandemic set in last year. During this session, Darren LaSorte and Trevor Santos of the National Shooting Sports Foundation will discuss how emergency powers legislation can protect your constituents, including local businesses, during the next declared state of emergency, and how elected officials may combat the current “cancel culture” seeking to put firearm industry members out of business.

The Heritage of Hunting with Hounds
Hunting with hounds is a traditional method of hunting in many states. As an action-packed experience, it is particularly family friendly and a great way to introduce younger hunters or new hunters to hunting. As populations increase and large private forest holdings are sold off, it creates pressures on this heritage sport. At the same time, technology advancements allow for greater hunter accountability. How have states updated their laws and rules to protect this sport and hold hunters accountable?

Trapping: The Essential Wildlife Management Tool - What it is and Why it is Essential to the Longevity of the North American Model of Wildlife Management
This session will present an overview of the importance of furbearer management with trapping as the primary tool to provide for protection of threatened and endangered species, public and private property, conservation and management of wildlife habitat, along with the importance of trapping with concerns of human health and safety and controlling the spread of zoonotic diseases while providing a substantial economic benefit to individuals, counties, states and conservation organizations as part of a driving force to support the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

3:00 PM

3:30 PM

Fellowship and Refreshment Break

Join us for a refreshment break in the exhibitor area and stop by exhibitor booths to enter a raffle.

3:30 PM

5:00 PM

Challenges and Opportunities in Conservation Communications and Technology

Free Online Hunter Education - Free State-Side Match Opportunity for Wildlife Restoration Funding
The National Rifle Association created the first Hunter Safety program in the United States in 1949. That program is the foundation for all modern-day Hunter Education programs. Recognizing the decline in hunting and the difficulty many new or young hunters may have in taking a hunter education course, in 2017 the NRA created the most encompassing, interactive, fun, online hunter education course and made it FREE to everyone. This new, modern course is the only one that allows state agencies to earn Pittman-Robertson match dollars – in fact, last year alone states took home an additional $150,000 from Pittman-Robertson because of NRA’s course. States that currently offer the course are Florida, West Virginia, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Connecticut, Texas, Oregon, and Tennessee. NRA hopes to offer this course in every state to make hunting safer and more easily accessible to anyone who may want to try, while also earning their state wildlife agency free Pittman-Robertson match dollars.

How to Promote and Recruit in an Era of Digital Censorship
Why is an industry that provides over $200 billion in economic impact and nearly $1 billion in conservation funding censored rather than honored? For years Hunters specifically, and now anglers, have been censored day in and day out on social media platforms. Digital campaigns have been shut down, videos have been denied or censored, posts have been removed, and recently, influential channels have been demonetized. As we continue to develop strategies to promote this industry and focus on Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation, how will we successfully succeed without the vast reach provided by the current social media channels? Ben Isenberg, Harvester CEO will present the challenges his agency has faced when advertising hunting and fishing brands and their destinations, while also highlight stories of censorship and demonization they are witnessing. The presentation will conclude with an announcement of a new platform created specifically for sportsmen and women that will be launching in January.

Modernizing Conservation Technology
State fish and wildlife agencies can leverage technology to conserve wild resources more effectively and improve their customers’ experiences in the field. This session will profile examples of state fish and wildlife agencies’ technology innovations and successes, discuss future state and federal level opportunities to help agencies modernize their technology, and highlight ultimately why modernizing conservation technology is good for the agencies and conservationists alike.

5:00 PM

5:05 PM

Conference Adjourns

Summit Host Rep. Jeff Wardlaw (AR) and Executive Council President Rep. Brian White (SC) will provide closing remarks.

5:05 PM

5:45 PM

Break to Change for Dinner

5:05 PM

6:00 PM

NASC Executive Council Meeting

The NASC Executive Council will meet to discuss the conference, begin planning for the 2022 Summit, and discuss other business.

6:00 PM

7:00 PM

Reception

7:00 PM

8:00 PM

Dinner

Former Co-Chair of the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus, Governor Asa Hutchinson, will host all attendees for dinner at the Governor's Mansion. The evening’s dinner is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy a fine meal in this historic residence.

7:30 PM

8:30 PM

Awards Ceremony

CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane and NASC Executive Council President Rep. Brian White (SC) will make closing remarks; host state legislators will be recognized; awards will be given to legislators from each region, a state agency, and key NASC partners; and, new Executive Council members will be announced. The host state and location of the 2022 NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit will also be announced.