ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY
Protect today, provide for future generations...
CSF strives to maintain and increase access to what we have and to create additional opportunities for America's future conservationists.
CSF is a leading voice in all policy matters related to access and opportunity for sportsmen and women across the country, especially those that will continue on the legacy of conservation for future generations.
Over the last decade, many states have expanded opportunities for archery hunters wishing to use crossbows. Incorporating crossbow hunting opportunities into game management may increase hunter recruitment and retention, and crossbows can be a valuable tool for controlling game populations, particularly in suburban and urban areas. Since 2012, CSF has been successful in working to pass nearly 15 bills to expand crossbow allowances, providing new opportunities for both hunters and wildlife managers.
Making Public Lands Public
Federal public lands are an important destination for many Americans, including those that hunt and fish. Despite their popularity, many federal lands are currently unavailable to the public due to land ownership patterns that preclude hunters, anglers and others from gaining access to areas that could support fish and wildlife-dependent recreation. In response to this problem, CSF developed the “Making Public Lands Public” concept in 2006 to advance solutions that provide hunting and fishing opportunities on landlocked federal lands. Early in 2019, this concept was further advanced with the passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act which permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund with a minimum of $15 million annually allocated to improve access to federal lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.
CSF works with allied state sportsmen’s caucuses across the country to ensure that public lands remain open and accessible to hunters, anglers, trappers and recreational shooters. As a result, seventeen states now have provisions in place to ensure that the net acreage of lands open for hunting is maintained through time.
In a number of states, archaic “blue laws” continue to prohibit sportsmen and women from hunting on Sundays. These outdated laws not only prevent many hunters from taking advantage of their days off, they also deprive rural communities and state fish and wildlife agencies of revenue needed to support basic government services and conservation goals. Since 2003, CSF has worked tirelessly to repeal or reduce Sunday hunting restrictions in seven states.
As cities and suburbs continue to expand into areas historically open to hunting, some states, counties and municipalities have attempted to impede wildlife-dependent recreation by limiting the ability to discharge firearms or archery equipment within a certain distance from encroaching development and structures, in some cases depriving hunters of access to thousands of acres of both public and private lands. CSF has successfully opposed these backdoor efforts to limit hunting opportunity in three states and has successfully worked to lessen or eliminate previous restrictions in others to ensure that the ability to regulate hunting remains in the hands of state fish and wildlife agencies, where it belongs.