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Support the Great American Outdoors Act

Support the Great American Outdoors Act

DSC is proud, alongside our partners, to support the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The GAOA is an important bill that supports hunters, anglers, hikers, campers, climbers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Among other important actions, GAOA would improve access by funding the federal maintenance backup of necessary roads, trails, piers, campsites, parking lots, boat ramps, and other infrastructure. One economic analysis of the GAOA estimates that at least 110,000 infrastructure-related jobs would be created in National Parks alone.

Further, the GAOA provides critical funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which protects working forests and species habitat, improves the vitality of gateway communities, and supports state parks and community recreation facilities in support of outdoor activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of Americans unable to enjoy the great outdoors. GAOA supports Americans return to the outdoors with the knowledge that National Parks and federal lands will be safe and accessible.

The Great American Outdoors Act (S.3422) was introduced in March to the Senate by Sen. Gardner (R-CO) with 54 co-sponsors, representing both democratic and republican support. On June 8, the Senate voted to limit debate, which allows for the final passage to occur by a simple majority vote. As of press time, there are 59 total co-sponsors.

Earlier in June, the companion legislation (H.R.7092) was introduced in the House by Rep. Cunningham (D-SC) with 11 other co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. As of press time, there are 64 co-sponsors. The president has signaled his support of the bill, opening a path forward for it to be signed into law.

We urge you to contact your Senator and House Representatives and ask that they support the Great American Outdoors Act. Learn more about GAOA by clicking here.

Please remember to practice #ResponsibleRecreation and to be sure to learn more about #ResponsibleRecreation and to take the pledge by clicking here.

DSC Supports Mexican Wolf Management to Remain at the State Level

DSC Supports Mexican Wolf Management to Remain at the State Level

DSC and the DSC New Mexico Chapter support the need for Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) management to remain under the control of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). We have complete confidence in the ability of these state departments to manage their wildlife and natural resources.

However, this relationship is under scrutiny as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service considers changing the designation of the Mexican wolf.

DSC and the DSC New Mexico Chapter support the state departments’ request to keep the “non-essential experimental” designation of the Mexican wolf. This designation gives the state departments the ability to continue to manage the subspecies as they have successfully done in the past.

If the designation is changed to “essential experimental” under the Endangered Species Act, the states’ ability to manage the Mexican wolf would be inhibited, which would in turn be detrimental to the future of the species.

Learn more about the issue by reading the letter from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

DSC Pushes for Expanded Hunting and Fishing Access

DSC Pushes for Expanded Hunting and Fishing Access

DSC supports the USFWS proposed additions and revisions to station-specific regulations that would expand hunting and fishing opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and National Fish Hatcheries (NFH). This proposal expands access to an additional 2.3 million acres of public land, supports the sustainable use of migratory birds and resident wildlife, and generates billions of dollars annually for state fish and wildlife agencies as well as regional economies.

The USFWS has proposed the following:

  • Open, for the first time, eight NWRs that are currently closed to hunting and sport fishing.
  • Open or expand hunting and sport fishing at 89 other NWRs.
  • Add pertinent station-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2020–2021 season.
  • Open hunting or sport fishing on nine units of the NFHs.
  • Add pertinent station-specific regulations for NFHs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing for the 2020–2021 season.
  • Open 41 limited-interest easement NWRs in North Dakota for upland hunting, big game hunting, and sport fishing.
  • Make regulatory changes to existing station-specific regulations in order to reduce the regulatory burden on the public, increase access for hunters and anglers on Service lands and waters, and comply with a Presidential mandate for plain language standards.
  • Prohibit domestic sheep, goat, and camelid pack animals on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Click Here to Read the Full DSC Comment
Hunting for Geocache

Hunting for Geocache

What does a geochache look like? They can be of various sizes and shapes. Each one contains a paper to log to sign with your geocaching name and the date you found it. This is an example of how small they can be!

 

 

One sunny afternoon while exploring with my Mom and sister in our local park, something shiny caught my eye. Curious, I leaned down and peered through the boards of the old bridge and pulled up an unexpected find. Quickly, we opened the container and upon reading the note inside describing what we had found, we were hooked on geocaching! So excited at this find, we asked some of our Cub Scout friends if they knew about geocaching. Turns out, they did and were eager to share their love of the hunt.

The author and his sister as children with the first geocache the family ever found together. You can see the paper log and everyone who has signed it.

Geocaching is a worldwide GPS treasure hunt game open to all age groups! It is a fun outdoor family activity that gets you outside working together and provides a goal to reach while out on a walk, hike or bike ride. People all over the world hide containers across the landscape for others to find. Some are quite creative and super fun to search out. I have many fond memories as a kid, searching for geocache at every state park we camped out at as well as along road trip routes. Geocache are literally everywhere: city parks, city streets, cemeteries, landmarks, national parks and beaches.

The only equipment needed is a cell phone with the Geocache App and a pen. There is a free version and a premium version. Premium is only $29 per year and offers geocache you do not have access to with the free version. The app reveals the treasure map of hidden geocaches, which you can search for based on your location. It will show you the area, but then you must search for the treasure.

This image shows my dad holding the geocache and my sister holding up “swag” that she picked out of the geocache. We found this one at a public park near our home.

Ranging in size from a camera film canister to a large ammo can, the app will tell you the size of the geocache you are looking for, as well as hints and a history of those who have found the geocache. Once discovered, every geocache has a sign-in log to sign your name and date of the find. You also log your find in the app and a smiley face appears on your map of all the geocache you have found. Ammo cans are fun for kids to find because they usually have swag – little trinkets, toys, coins, etc. they can take. Geocaching etiquette says though, if you take swag, you must leave swag. Most state parks have park ranger place geocaches that typically are ammo can-size and have swag.

Geocaching is very nature-friendly, with rules to govern how folks hunt, to ensure they do not destroy property, and to encourage people to pick up trash along their hunting route.

For more information on how to get started, visit www.geocaching.com/play. You will be hooked too!

Happy hunting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitchell Meyer is a college junior who was a DSC intern at the 2020 Convention. “I am currently a Junior at Stephen F. Austin State University studying forestry with an emphasis in wildlife management. Ever since I was a young boy, I have always loved the outdoors – from fishing and hunting to backpacking, hiking, geocaching and everything in between. Attending SFASU and majoring in Forestry seemed a natural fit. I serve as the Vice President for the SFASU Wildlife Society Student Chapter. I am also the treasurer of the SFASU Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and the President of the Timber-sports team at SFASU. During this past winter break, I had the honor to intern with the Dallas Safari Club during the 2020 Heritage Convention. It was an amazing experience. I learned so much and had the opportunity to meet many different people within the wildlife conservation and hunting community. This summer I am interning as a forestry/wildlife technician and I will also be working on a cattle ranch in Westlake, Texas.”

 

"Dallas Safari Club, through its Foundation, funds conservation grants annually: elephant and lion projects in Africa, desert bighorn sheep restoration in North America, anti-poaching projects and more"

 

 

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