A few weeks back, while visiting Capitol Hill with two fellow TRCPers, I encountered a literal sign of the economic times. Posted just inside the doorway of a House member’s office was a banner that read, “If you are here to ask for more money, you are in the wrong office!”

Since my colleagues and I hadn’t stopped in to request a bailout but rather to discuss a piece of legislation, we assumed we were in compliance with the office rules and conducted our meeting as planned. But for the rest of the day, the image of that banner kept popping into my head. The sign stood as a stark reminder that although our economy is growing and the federal government’s fiscal outlook is improving, money is still tight and programs that promote habitat conservation and good natural resource stewardship continue to face intense congressional scrutiny.

Sportsmen often ask what steps they can take to protect the future of hunting and angling in this country. I tell them to keep an eye on Congress and be ready to play defense when our flagship conservation programs fall onto the chopping block. Conservation programs provide a host of economic, aesthetic and ecological benefits as a return on the federal government’s investment, and sportsmen are uniquely positioned to educated leaders in Washington, D.C., about the importance of conservation funding. In today’s fiscal environment, where job creation and economic growth are on everyone’s minds, sportsmen have a compelling story to tell. Watch the short video below to learn more, and be sure to share this with your friends:

The connection is simple: conservation is a precursor to getting hunters and anglers into the field. When sportsmen go afield or on the water, we spend money in pursuit of our passions, and the entire U.S. economy benefits. Learn more about this issue and get involved in the fight for healthy conservation funding.

This article originally appeared on the TRCP Blog and is republished here with permission.

Image and video courtesy Brandon Helm

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