Agenda

Thursday, December 1

7:00 AM

8:00 AM

Breakfast

Wolf management is a polarizing and confrontational topic regardless of which side of that topic you’re on. While “preservation” based management plans are utilized in our national parks and areas where wolves remain listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), conservation is the management concept used to manage wolf populations in most of the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment (NRMDPS) area. While news media and preservation groups portray a gloomy return to extinction, wolves continue to not only thrive but far surpass management objectives multiple times over. Sportsmen and concerned citizens have banned together to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called “The Foundation for Wildlife Management” (F4WM), in an effort to educate the public on the factual status of wolves and wolf management as that relates to the recovery goals and management objectives established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (the actual data may surprise you). F4WM Executive Director Justin Webb will explain who F4WM is and how they are assisting State Game Management Agencies in meeting their wolf management objectives. He will share why he believes the Endangered Species Act and Equal Access to Justice Act reform may be a vital part of continuing to manage game populations using the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

8:00 AM

10:30 AM

Eastern and Midwestern Breakout Session

Members of the States Program Team (SPT) will provide regional updates on matters of key importance from this year, such as Caucus events and growth, policy priorities engagements and successes, and the creation of helpful communications deliverables. This part of the program will be broken up into Eastern and Western Regional Breakout Sessions, so join your respective SPT members for presentations recapping this year’s collaborative efforts.

8:00 - 8:30 AM (State Caucus Updates) - Hear from CSF’s States Program Team members representing the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast regions as they present on the activities of state caucuses, highlighting unique examples of events, communications deliverables, and key policy victories.

8:30 - 9:00 AM (Fighting Back Against Misguided Opposition to Active Timber Management) - Hunters understand the importance of active management to the maintenance of wildlife habitat and hunting access, but are the habitat needs of wildlife, particularly on public lands, being overshadowed by interests opposed to active forest management? This session will explore the history of environmental NGOs opposing wildlife habitat improvement projects on federal lands and the growing trend of increased opposition to habitat work on state-owned lands. To combat this alarming trend, speakers will provide policy recommendations that attendees can employ in their home state to support strong wildlife populations and provide quality experiences for hunters.

9:00 - 9:30 AM (Invasive Carp) - This session will provide an overview of the current work being done by state and federal wildlife agency partners and NGOs in the 31 states in the Mississippi River Basin to eradicate, manage, and control aquatic invasive species, with invasive carp being the number one problem. The discussion will cover how the formation of the Mississippi River Basin Fisheries Commission will make this, and other interjurisdictional fisheries management issues, better.

9:30 - 10:00 AM (Trapping Deeper Than You Think) - John Daniel, President of the National Trappers Association, and Jason Wisniewski, Director and President-Elect of Fur Takers of America, will provide an in-depth look into how a management program that includes trapping not only benefits game species, but other species as well, and how it contributes to a healthy ecosystem. They will also look at the economic benefits trapping provides for manufacturing, local economies, and foreign trade, as well as the many similarities it shares with other pursuits, such as deer hunting, fishing, and turkey hunting.

10:00 - 10:30 AM (Dedicated Conservation Funding Efforts) - This session will feature a conversation with leaders in the Louisiana and Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses who spearheaded passage of the Louisiana Outdoors Forever Program and the Mississippi Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund in 2022. Enactment of these new state conservation funding programs demonstrated active collaboration between sportsman-legislators and sportsmen led coalitions. This new funding will help these two states leverage partnerships to deliver more habitat and opportunities for hunters and anglers.

8:00 AM

10:30 AM

Western Breakout Session

Members of the States Program Team (SPT) will provide regional updates on matters of key importance from this year, such as Caucus events and growth, policy priorities engagements and successes, and the creation of helpful communications deliverables. This part of the program will be broken up into Eastern and Western Regional Breakout Sessions, so join your respective SPT members for presentations recapping this year’s collaborative efforts.

8:00 - 8:30 AM (State Caucus Updates) - Hear from CSF’s States Program Team members representing the Pacific and Rocky Mountain regions as they present on the activities of state caucuses, highlighting unique examples of events, communications deliverables, and key policy victories.

8:30 - 9:00 AM (Wild Sheep in Western States: Status, Challenges, Opportunities) - Bighorn sheep currently occur in 16 western states, and ~50% of all Dall's sheep live in Alaska. Wild sheep spend much of their year on public lands, but in many states, private/state lands also provide important seasonal habitat. Wild sheep face a variety of management challenges, including habitat loss/fragmentation, diminishing water availability, respiratory pneumonia often following contact with domestic sheep and/or domestic goats, predation, and other challenges. Strategies and opportunities have been identified in many western states, to restore wild sheep populations and enhance wild sheep habitat.

9:00 - 9:30 AM (The End of Wilderness Expansion and Use Restrictions in the West) - This session will discuss past and current Administrations' efforts to expand federal control on public land with specific targets in the West. The discussion will also cover how these actions create a burden on state land managers, amplify states' challenges to manage public lands, and further diminish tools to expand access, cooperation, and coordination at the local level.

9:30 - 10:00 AM (Impacts of the Overpopulation of Horses and Burros in the American West) - Wild horses and burros are at four times Appropriate Management Levels and are threatening native wildlife populations (bighorn sheep, mule deer, sage-grouse, etc.) in numerous western states. Congressional action is needed to allow for proper management of horses and burros by the Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Forest Service. Inaction will reduce opportunities for sportsmen in the affected states.

10:00 - 10:30 AM (Incentivizing Landowners vs. Privatizing Elk – A Delicate Balance) - Across the west, elk distributions are becoming a growing problem. Landowners deserve incentives for allowing public hunting access and/or providing quality wildlife habitat, and in some cases need assistance when publicly owned elk become a nuisance. However, some fear the wrong incentives will make the issue even worse by leading to more hoarding of the public resource and encouraging more exclusive pay-to-play access. How do we incentive private landowners to be good stewards and/or provide public opportunities while discouraging the privatization and commercialization of the public resource?

10:30 AM

11:00 AM

Fellowship and Refreshment Break

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

11:00 AM

Noon

Roundtable Discussion on State Fish and Wildlife Management

State Fish and Wildlife Agency Directors from across the nation will participate in a moderated panel discussion on a variety of high-priority policy issues that agencies are presently dealing with.

Noon

1:00 PM

Lunch

NWTF will provide an overview of their new National Master Stewardship Agreement with the USDA Forest Service, including the $50 million initial investment in NWTF to help deliver USDA Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy at the local and state level. The conversation will connect the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation tenants of science to hunting and conservation through a discussion on how mitigating the impacts of wildfire to our public lands has an impact on habitat and wildlife distribution and abundance and the resulting impacts wildfire can have on hunting access and the quality of hunting and science-based wildlife management.

1:00 PM

1:30 PM

Grizzly Bear Populations, the Endangered Species Act, and Delisting

The USFWS has been petitioned by Governors from Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho to have the grizzly bear delisted from the ESA list. The requirements to be delisted have been met and populations are expanding, but litigation and politics keep the bear listed. What can be done to remove the protected status of the ESA from the grizzly? The states are prepared to take over management and already have a tri-state agreement in place, that even includes genetic diversity.

1:30 PM

2:00 PM

Findings and Recommendations of the Aquatic Invasive Species Commission

The continued spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) poses a key challenge to sportsmen, conservationists, and state Departments of Natural Resources. This session will share findings from the AIS Commission, which will soon release its findings and policy recommendations from months of consultation with leaders in federal policy, state agencies, recreational user groups and leading invasive species scientists. This presentation will explore the state-level impacts of these recommendations to prevent, control, and eradicate AIS.

2:00 PM

2:30 PM

Are Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Funds “Slipping” Away?

The rise of the internet provides consumers with convenience and frequently lower prices, but also provides a way for many foreign products to be sold into the U.S. without the required Wildlife and Sportfishing Restoration excise taxes. Direct-to-consumer purchases of taxable products from overseas vendors represents a significant, and growing threat to conservation funding and achieves an 11% unfair advantage over U.S.-based businesses that are paying the conservation tax. This situation threatens fish and wildlife conservation funding for state fish and wildlife agencies as well as the existence, profitability, and support of law-abiding businesses in the U.S.

2:30 PM

3:00 PM

Fellowship and Refreshment Break

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

3:00 PM

3:30 PM

Improving Relationships Between Sportsmen and Landowners

Sportsmen and landowners share an interest in the future of wildlife in the United States. Private lands provide valuable habitat for wildlife, often coming at a cost to the landowner. Sportsmen play an essential role in managing wildlife and funding state agencies. Unfortunately, the relationship between these two groups is often strained over issues including access, target populations, and disease transmission. Join us for a session to explore lessons learned on how to improve relationships between sportsmen and landowners.

3:30 PM

4:00 PM

Current Conversations Around Inclusivity in State and Tribal R3 Efforts

The states and the tribes are the two primary entities responsible for fish and wildlife management (and hunter management) for the majority of the land mass in America. This session will present science-based data on participation trends and case studies on what states and tribes are currently doing to provide opportunities to historically underrepresented communities in our hunting culture. The session will also identify gaps and needs within the policy space that legislators can assist with and provide first-hand testimonials about how to reach diverse audiences and why it is so important.

4:00 PM

4:30 PM

The Aftermath of Bruen: What it Means for State Firearm Laws & What to Expect for the 2023 Legislative Session

In the landmark decision of NYSRPA vs. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court established a new precedent and standard for evaluating the constitutionality of firearm laws throughout the country. Since that decision, there has been a flurry of new cases to reevaluate state firearm laws. This panel discussion will shed light on how the Bruen decision might impact firearm laws in your state, along with insight on what to expect for the 2023 legislative session and ways proactively advance legislation to protect recreational shooting.

4:30 PM

5:00 PM

Predator Wars: Lesson's Learned from Fighting Anti-Hunting Interests on the West Coast

The West Coast continues to make national headlines with the increased frequency and egregiousness of anti-hunting efforts at all levels of government. Whether it's Oregon's Initiative Petition 3, which would ban all hunting, fishing and trapping, or Washington's sudden suspension of the 2022 Spring Bear Season, or California's ongoing attempts to shut down bear hunting all together, the West Coast continues to be at the forefront of discussions surrounding the sustainable conservation of America’s predators and the role that sportsmen and women play in their management. This panel discussion will highlight how the sportsmen's community in CA, OR, and WA are pushing back against these efforts, and steps that can be taken now to be prepared should the fight come your state next.

5:00 PM

5:30 PM

Priorities for Hunters and Anglers in the 2023 Farm Bill

As part of an omnibus bill that covers everything from federal crop insurance to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps), the U.S. Farm Bill’s Conservation Title represents the single largest federal investment in private lands conservation in the nation. Reauthorized every five years and currently set to expire in 2023, negotiations regarding the next Farm Bill have already begun. During this session, a panel representing hunters, anglers, and conservationists will highlight their perspectives and priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill while sharing their thoughts on opportunities for state legislators and other partners to engage throughout the Farm Bill process.

5:30 PM

5:30 PM

Conference Adjourns

NASC Executive Council President, Rep. Brian White (SC) will provide closing remarks as the business portion of the 19th Annual NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit concludes.

5:30 PM

6:00 PM

Break to Change for Dinner

5:30 PM

6:15 PM

NASC Executive Council Meeting

The NASC Executive Council will meet to discuss the conference, begin planning for the 2023 Summit, and discuss other business.

6:15 PM

7:00 PM

Reception

7:00 PM

8:30 PM

Dinner & 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 2023 NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit will also be announced.