Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council
With a Sportsmen’s Caucus in place in the Idaho Legislature, the ball was now in the sportsmen’s court to form a viable, effective, balanced, and long-lived support and advisory group to those caucuses. Their role is to know when legislation is introduced, research its impacts, gauge the sportsmen’s position(s) on it, determine a consensus position on it, and provide data supporting that position to the Caucus members in both houses before the debate is scheduled.In March of 2005 twenty founding sportsmen’s organizations adopted the bylaws, elected officers and officially formed the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council.In the end, sportsmen (the largest constituency in the state after women) can gain a voice and serious influence in conservation issues that affect our wildlife. It is up to us to behave responsibly with restraint and resolve. To deal with the best science available and with the long-term welfare of wildlife in mind. United with other state caucuses around the country we can present a united front against anti-hunting nonsense, habitat destruction, and against bad-science game management programs that might represent other interests than those of wildlife.
Here in Idaho
Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus
Twenty sportsmen’s groups held a meeting in Boise on February 21, 2004 to familiarize those groups with the Caucus concept and, most importantly, what the sportsmen’s role is with the Caucus. The interest was firm among the sportsmen’s groups. Through continuous hard work on phones and in person and with the help of Representative David Langhorst, District 16, Director Steve Huffaker, IDFG, Jerry Bullock, President of the Idaho Chapter, SCI, Leroy Atwood, President of Treasure Valley Chapter, SCI, and a number of other individuals, a meeting was scheduled with the legislature on March 9, 2004. In attendance were 43 members of the legislature, representatives of more than 20 sportsmen’s groups, the top five administrators from IDFG, and several members of the press. The purpose was to inform the legislators of the national caucus format, its success, the size and scope of sportsmen’s numbers in Idaho and their economic and demographic impacts. The goal was to get a sportsmen’s caucus formed in both houses of the Idaho Legislature.The late Brad Rouse, an employee of the Sportsmen’s Caucus Foundation (the conservation organization and industry advisory group to the caucuses in Washington) came from Washington to present the caucus story. Ken Schwartz, the State Affairs Liaison working for Safari Club International, provided supporting information. Jerry Bullock gave an overview of the history of wildlife conservation in the United states and presented the facts showing it was hunters, fishermen, and trappers who funded nearly all conservation programs then and now. Also presented was the data on sportsmen’s numbers and economic impacts statewide.The good news? Idaho is now the 17th state to form a Sportsmen’s Caucus in both the House and Senate with bi-partisan co-chairs