By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus held their annual luncheon on the south lawn of the Alabama capitol complex. The luncheon held in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) brings together Alabama legislators and constitutional officers with the many sportsmen’s organizations that are committed to protecting and passing on Alabama’s rich hunting and fishing legacies.
The Chairman of the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is Randy Davis, R-Daphne. Davis said this is an anniversary for us, as the Alabama Legislative Sportsman Caucus was founded in April 2008.
Rep. Davis said in a statement, “Hunting and fishing is synonymous with Alabama’s heritage. For the over 948,000 sportsmen and women living in the state, hunting and fishing is a way of life; they are traditions that have become engrained in the lives of so many sportsmen and women who feed their families, fuel our economy, and preserve a lifestyle that was passed down to them from generation to generation. As a member of the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, I stand beside these families, and I work to provide a voice for the sportsmen and women at the state capitol.” Davis is also the Chairman of the Alabama House Hunting and Fishing Committee.
Senate President Del Marsh, R-Anniston, praised the work of the Caucus which described as “such a great help to me.”
Sen. Marsh said that hunting and fishing: “I don’t think many of us realize the economic impact of hunting and fishing on the state of Alabama. It is big. It is a $3.5 billion industry and it is growing every day.”
Chairman Davis said that the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus are members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucus. “We have a goal of no net loss in public hunting lands in Alabama.”
Davis introduced Bee Frederick as the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus’s Manager. Davis said that the Alabama Sportsmen’s Caucus is in a network with 48 other states.
Sen. Marsh said, “Alabama was blessed with all of the great waterways.” Marsh praised the Forever Wild program for its work creating lands for people to hunt on. “Thank you for being a part of it. We as a legislature are going to continue to promote hunting and fishing in Alabama.”
DCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship said, “Hunting and fishing is a way of life here and contributes greatly to the quality of life.” There is a $two billion economic impact from hunting in Alabama and a $1.5 billion economic impact for fishing in the state. Blankenship also praised
Alabama Power and TVA for the lakes in Alabama that draw thousands of people every summer.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) told the Alabama Political Reporter that the state is finally making some progress with coming to a negotiated agreement to the dispute with the federal government about red snapper fishing; but that they are not there yet. “The problem with the federal government is that they just don’t know how to count fish,” Zeigler said.