In Connecticut, Senate Bill 109, sponsored by Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven), which would have turned a public waterfowl hunting area into a state refuge, died on the senate floor as the senate adjourned without taking up the bill. The legislation would have restricted waterfowl hunting near New Haven, where the Quinnipiac River and Mill River met. The area described in Senate Bill 109 has long been a popular location for waterfowl hunting.
The biggest reason hunters quit hunting is because of a lack of access to quality hunting areas. According to a 2011 census conducted by the United States Census Bureau, 71 percent of Connecticut’s resident sportsmen only used public land when hunting. Senate Bill 109 would have only lowered hunter participation, which would have resulted in a decrease in revenue from hunting licenses sold. The money produced from these hunting licenses is essential for the conservation and management of Connecticut’s wildlife.
Further, Senate Bill 109 usurped the power of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and took decisions about wildlife management into the political realm. A precedent that would be dangerous for the future of all fish and wildlife management.
“Legislation like Senate Bill 109 not only politicizes wildlife management, but it also deters sportsmen and women from hunting,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It is for these reasons we are happy to see legislation like SB 109 fail.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.