July 20, 2009 (Biloxi, MS) - The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation announced Friday the formation of a bipartisan caucus of governors that will work to protect the interest of America's hunters and anglers, and advance sound wildlife management policy.
The Governors Sportsmen's Caucus was launched at the National Governor's Association Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, and will facilitate communication and information exchange between participating offices in support of policies and regulations that promote and protect hunting and fishing.
At the official launch, members selected Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD) as the inaugural Co-Chairmen and also selected Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) as the inaugural Vice-Chairmen.
"The quality of life in this country continues to rely on the outdoors opportunities we provide, and we don't want these rights and freedoms taken away from the next generation," said Gov. Rounds.
"I'm committed to do anything I can with the federal government and all of our state legislators," said Gov. Manchin. "Throughout our various states, we can really help each other work through important hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation issues."
The GSC is patterned after the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and supported by CSF, both of whom have served the interest of outdoorsmen in the halls of Congress and federal land management agencies for 20 years. The GSC will work closely with CSF and state legislators in their home states and through the 38 state legislative caucuses that make up the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses.
"Building upon the success of CSF and the Caucus in Washington and the NASC in state legislatures around the country, the addition of a Governor's Sportsmen's Caucus creates an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials," said CSF President Jeff Crane.
Governors in the GSC represent large outdoor constituencies that include many of America's nearly 40 million hunters and anglers who contribute more than $70 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
"It's part of our culture, our tradition, our economy," said Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont.
Sixteen governors from across the country have joined the caucus as inaugural members, including: Gov. Joe Manchin, West Virginia; Gov. Mike Rounds, South Dakota; Gov. Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming; Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia; Gov. Phil Bredesen, Tennessee; Gov. Rick Perry, Texas; Gov. Haley Barbour, Mississippi; Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana; Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho; Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana; Gov. John Hoeven, North Dakota; Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio; Gov. Brad Henry, Oklahoma; Gov. John Lynch, New Hampshire; Gov. Jim Douglas, Vermont; Gov. John Baldacci, Maine.
"We're from all over the country. This group just goes to show that hunting and fishing, the sportsmen's life, really is America from one side to the other," said Gov. Barbour.