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Conservation Forum Focuses On Sportsmen’s Issues, The Second Amendment, and Increasing Access To Public Lands

Mossy Oak Hosts Trump Administration Appointees, Perdue and Bernhardt, Who Share Legislation On Conservation and Sportsmen’s Issues.

Mia Anstine

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show is known for crowds of people, miles of aisles, and this year for companies focusing on conservation and sustainability. On day one of the nation’s largest outdoor trade show, Mossy Oak brands hosted two of the Trump Administration’s appointees right in their booth on the show floor.

Show guests were invited to the iconic camouflage company’s booth for an informal Conservation Forum with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue and U.S. Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt. The duo shared updates regarding legislation and efforts in regard to conservation and sportsmen’s issues that are happening in the U.S.

Conservation Forum speakers
L to R: Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever CEO Howard Vincent, RMEF CEO Kyle Weaver, NWTF CEO Becky Humphries, Chief GameKeeper Toxey Haas, U.S. Secretary Of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, DU Senior VP of Marketing and Communications Joseph Mazon, DU Chief Marketing Officer James Powell

Additionally, the pair were found doing live interviews and later in a press room “Fireside Chat” where Larry Keane, NSSF's senior vice president, moderated a panel discussion with them. With it being the first SHOT Show visit for both Secretaries, they expressed their pleasures of being among the community. 

“It’s like being a kid in a candy store,” Perdue said. “It’s great meeting with all the folks that are interested in the industry and conservation as a whole.”

Secretary Purdue put an emphasis on the Trump Administration’s focus on sportsmen’s issues, the second amendment, and increasing access to public lands for hunting and shooting sports. He indicated that it’s the Administration’s responsibility to make sure that the public has access because “it’s the public’s land.” Unless land is closed for a very specific reason, the administration wants the public at large to enjoy it.

The reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expands public access, is one important task that Secretary Purdue had a hand in. He also shared that the recently passed Farm Bill reauthorizes and expands the Conservation Reserve Program acreage, which is huge for waterfowl, upland game and big game.

Working with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife service and many more, the Department of the Interior manages a lot of public lands. Secretary Bernhardt expressed that they, too, want the larger population of people to have access. He wants to “foster access using common-sense regulations.” 

Secretary Bernhardt has a focus on expanding the wild places on which the public is able to hunt, fish and recreate. He indicates that thanks to input from the International Wildlife Conservation Council (a citizens committee who represent all outdoorsmen) we can expect to see more opportunity in the future.

Secretary Purdue reminds us that the advisory council is a reflection of the entire country because “all of the wisdom doesn’t reside in Washington, D.C.” The council is made up of users from across the country who come together to give the Administration the best ideas.

Both secretaries expressed the importance of sustainability and healthy forests. With properly managed forests there is less fire, less disease, better water quality and more wildlife, all of which make for better recreation opportunities — even for those who solely want to walk around and admire God’s creation.

During his current tenure as Secretary, Bernhardt has been involved in limiting the ban on lead ammunition and fishing gear. Stay tuned for more announcements from both Secretaries as they work on many aspects of public land and agriculture. You’ll soon see disclosures retaining safe shooting opportunities on public lands. Additionally, both departments are working with the states to research ways to diagnose chronic wasting disease then collaborate together to combat its spread.

Mossy Oak is an icon known for its camouflage patterns but is also proud to be among the nation’s leaders when it comes to conservation and sustainability. The company is proud to have facilitated such a conversation with the Trump Administration’s Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue and Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt.

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