Sport fishing leaders head to Washington

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(April 5, 2022 – Alexandria, Virginia)
Last week, members of the American Sportfishing Association’s Government Affairs Committee traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual Government Affairs Spring Meeting. The meeting provided sport fishing industry leaders the opportunity to dialogue with congressional and federal agency leaders on policy issues affecting natural resources and the industry. During the committee sessions, some of the issues discussed included legislative priorities such as the Wildlife Salvage of America Act (RAWA), federal excise tax issues, import duty relief and conservation initiatives across the country. Additionally, ASA members traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with a bipartisan group of members of Congress who serve on the Fisheries and Natural Resources Oversight Committees. In total, the committee held briefings with five members of Congress: Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Garrett Graves ( R-La.) and Senator Martin Heinrich (DN.M.). The ASA and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation co-hosted an evening reception, attended by approximately 150 people, including members of Congress, congressional staff, partner organizations and sport fishing industry leaders .

“After two years of not being able to meet in person in DC, it was great to come together again and share our message with members of Congress and heads of federal agencies,” said Mike Leonard, Vice President of ASA Government Affairs. “We spent two productive days in Washington and were able to advance our priorities while defending the cause of sport fishing before federal authorities. Our committee is made up of leaders from the sport fishing industry, and we were able to make sure we were heard on Capitol Hill. I also want to thank Representatives Dingell, Huffman, Graves, Westerman and Senator Heinrich for their participation.

Beyond government affairs matters, the committee discussed ASA’s communications efforts and new angler retention initiatives. We look forward to working with our members on both.

The ASA’s Government Affairs Committee is made up of 35 people, representing a wide range of industry members from across the country. The committee meets twice a year to discuss key legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry and to guide ASA positions and activities regarding these issues.

The American Sport Fishing Association (ASA) is the sport fishing industry trade association committed to representing the interests of the sport fishing and recreational boating industries as well as the broader sport fishing community. We give industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sport fishing activities or sport fishing itself. ASA invests in long-term businesses to ensure that the industry will remain strong and prosperous, and to safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation, and social values ​​of sport fishing in America. The ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to fish sustainably on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. American fishermen generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the national economy, creating jobs for 825,000 people.

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