In 1989 a group of US Congress founded the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) to protect the interests of hunters, anglers and trappers.
Now comprised of over 253 Congressmen and 61 Senators, the Sportsmen’s Caucus is the largest caucus on Capitol Hill. These members are interested in hunting, fishing and trapping issues and expect to hear from sportsmen when legislation comes before them that impact these activities.
In 2004, Idaho became the 17th state to form a state legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Idaho is now one of 48 states that has a Sportsmen’s Caucus to protect the interests of hunters, anglers and trappers and to recognize the contributions this country’s sportsmen and women have made to conserving and enhancing our wildlife and habitat.
In 2005 Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council was formed.
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. 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.
Idaho Sportsmen’s Alliance
In 2015 there was a need for reorganization – ISA’s reach needed to be expanded – the look and feel modernized – and a mechanism needed to be put in place to grow membership beyond sportsmen’s groups. By an overwhelming vote the member organizations ratified a new set of By Laws to do just that.
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. Idaho was the 17th state to form a Sportsmen’s Caucus in both the House and Senate with bi-partisan co-chairs.
ISA Began and Continues
- to operate under a set of Guiding Principles. These Principles include:
- Protecting the right to hunt, fish and trap
- Conserving Idaho’s lands, wildlife and wildlife habitat for the future enjoyment of all citizens
- Encouraging and expanding the participation of Idaho’s men, women and children in hunting fishing and trapping
- Supporting the use of the best available biological science as guidance for management decision that serve the long term welfare of fish and wildlife
- Supporting the long term economic viability of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game
- Ensuring Idaho’s sportsmen have reasonable continuing access to public lands to enjoy outdoor pursuits
- Expanding access to private lands in cooperation with landowners
- Protecting sportsmen’s investment in wildlife and fisheries management
- Supporting multiple use, professional and scientific habitat management and sustainable use of renewable wildlife resources
- Recognizing the importance of hunting, fishing and trapping and the outdoor activities to our State and National economy