On Monday March 28, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted its annual Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Leadership Dinner to celebrate the bipartisan leaders of the CSC. In attendance at the event were past and current leaders of the CSC, the largest bipartisan and most active caucus in Congress, along with numerous conservation industry leaders. The Leadership Dinner recognized the continued leadership of the CSC, the establishment of the Dingell-Young Sportsmen’s Legacy Award to honor the unrivaled contributions of the late CSC founding members and past Co-Chairs Reps. John Dingell Jr. (D-MI) and Don Young (R-AK) and celebrated the many recent victories for America’s sportsmen and women.
In the 117th Congress, the CSC Co-Chairs in the Senate are Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE). The Vice-Chairs in the Senate are Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR). In the House, the CSC Co-Chairs are Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC). The Vice-Chairs in the House are Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR).
Together, these lawmakers represent the largest and most effective bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill. By working across the aisle and engaging approximately 250 members from a diversity of backgrounds, the CSC has established itself as the most influential political body in the American sporting community. Recent victories for the CSC include the passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act by the House Natural Resources Committee, the passage of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act through the House of Representatives, and the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
One of the highlights of Monday’s dinner was the announcement of the Dingell-Young Sportsmen’s Legacy Award by CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane and Rep. Debbie Dingell. “Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Don Young were not only pillars of Congress and the sporting community, but they were great men whose leadership will stand the test of time,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. Both ‘Deans of the House,’ Representatives Dingell and Young leave behind a rich heritage of conservation including as founding members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.
“Don and John not only served together in Congress for decades, but they also developed a friendship that stretched far beyond political boundaries,” said CSC Co-Chair Rep. Dingell. “From hunting together to serving in the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Don and John were allied in their passion for conservation. Jeff and I were proud to announce this award, which shall serve as a reminder of the good work that has been done and the legacy which has been entrusted to us all.”
Joining the many members of Congress in attendance at the CSF Leadership Dinner were Ambassador Elsie Kanza, Embassy of Tanzania; Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Martha Williams; Under Secretary U.S. Department of Agriculture, Robert Bonnie; and Director Missouri Department of Conservation, Sara Parker Pauley.
“Conservation is a part of the way of life for Nebraskans,” said CSC Co-Chair Sen. Fischer. “Our farmers, ranchers, and landowners are good stewards of our natural resources and the land they love. Their dedication to stewardship ensures Nebraskans can enjoy the great outdoors for generations to come.”
“Sportsmen and women are central to upholding the North American Model of Conservation and passing on the full complement of America’s natural heritage to future generations. It is thanks in large part to organizations like the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation that protecting and improving access to our public lands has proven to be a uniquely unifying force in Washington–leading to major victories like the Dingell Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, and the ACE Act. I encourage all of you to work with me to build on our momentum by passing the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would be the greatest investment in wildlife conservation in the last half century,” said CSC Co-Chair Sen. Martin Heinrich.
“Being an avid outdoorsman gives me a firsthand appreciation of all the work that CSC and our members are doing,” said CSC Co-Chair Rep. Hudson. “As a bipartisan organization, we are equipped to find commonsense solutions to the most pressing conservation issues of our day.”
“For over 30 years, CSF has worked to protect and promote the pursuit of hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting through our work on Capitol Hill and in legislatures and governor’s mansions throughout the country. We believe that the outdoors has no room for partisanship, and it is through the strong relationships fostered at events such as this that we can continue to advocate effectively for the American sportsmen and women,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane.
Title sponsors for the event included: Amgen, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Host sponsors included: Boone & Crockett Club, Hornady, Natural Resource Results, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, Shikar Safari Club International Foundation, Shimano, and Vista Outdoor. Co-Host sponsors included: the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Consumer Brands Association and the National Wildlife Federation.