I've recieved several PM's about this idea so I thought it was worthy of a seperate thread.
A few things I want to point out. First, this association doesn't currently exist. We need to form it from the ground up, and it will only work if we have active participation by the majority of Kansas hunters, anglers, and trappers. Second, although I hate the idea of fund raising and donations, that is the only way this can be effective in Topeka. In order to get politicians to listen to our voice we not only need numbers, but a Political Action Committee (PAC) that puts dollars in Topeka to make sure our voices are heard. I'm not sure if we want to charge for annual membership maybe $20, or just work off donations.....all that still needs to be ironed out. Third, we need to get the word out to the majority of Kansas residents that only hunt a couple times each year. They don't really understand what is happening because they don't see it day in and day out. They think all is fine and dandy, and they won't support something like this. Information, education, and awareness are powerful, but they must be delivered in the right way or it just seems like complaining or selfishness. Which brings me to my next point, and I want to be CRYSTAL CLEAR on this.
This association will NOT be anti-OOS'er. The worst thing that could happen is to divide ourselves from the other interests groups in rural Kansas. We don't want to close the gates to non-resident hunters and anglers. We want to promote the better management of Kansas outdoor resources for the long term sustainability of quality outdoor opportunities. Form policies that benefit both Kansans and those who travel here. We need policies that generate the funding necessary to maintain and enhance public wildlife areas. We need to ensure our children and grandchildren can experience the outdoors without being forced to pay a guide service or outfitter to have a place to hunt with a realistic opportunity for success. These goals should be the main focus and I'm hopeful that all Kansans, regardless of their own personal interests can support such an initiative.
The next question becomes, "how do we do it?" I don't know, but hopefully we can start to gather enough interest and support amongst our ranks to get the ball rolling. One thing I know for sure, is we cannot simply make this a waterfowl issue. We need upland hunters, big game hunters, predator hunters, anglers, and trappers to ALL come together and support one another and be unified for the purpose of reaching our goals.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in setting up a meeting to discuss this further, please send me a PM with your contact info. I'm looking for 8-10 motivated and passionate individuals to help get things started and be ready to see it through. If we recieve enough interest and support, hopefully we can make this happen. I know other states have associations similar to this, and I plan to get their input on what they did to make it work. But before we get to that point, we need some volunteers and a level of interest amongst other hunters that would suggest something like this would be supported.