A two day summit between outdoor industry leaders and the heads of the states’ fish and wildlife agencies was held the last week in May at ATK/Federal’s facility in Anoka, MN. Gary Zurn, Senior Vice President, represented Big Rock Sports as part of the Industry Coalition at the meeting, along with association and business leaders from the recreational fishing, shooting sports, boating/marine and archery industries who all pay taxes on the sale of their products that help fund the state agencies, and provide support for outdoor recreational activities. This was the fourth year of the Summit and attracted over 50 attendees, the largest turnout since its inception.
Agenda items were broad and timely, with the first day spent on discussing ways the outdoor industry companies and associations can work closer with the individual state agencies. “Many of the issues such as the banning of lead in outdoor equipment cross over to all four of the outdoor industries in attendance, and are a hot topic of conversation and potential legislation in many of our states legislatures,” said Zurn, who also serves as Chairman of the American Sportfishing Association’s Saltwater Government Affairs Committee and is actively involved in the lead issue in the fishing industry.
Other agenda topics included the continued expansion in states of restricting the sale of modern assault rifles, limiting the size of magazine clips in firearms, restrictions on the use of soft baits in fishing, the expansion of E-15 ethanol in gasoline and its effect on outboard motors and the impact of the reductions in funding on fish and wildlife programs from the current sequestration legislation in Washington. Said Zurn, “The openness and cooperation between the industry leaders and the state agency directors was very apparent and refreshing. Everyone at the summit was focused on improving the outdoor experience for the public and looking for ways to bring new people, especially young people, into our sports and enjoy the outdoors.”
The second day of the Summit was concluded with a tour of the Federal Cartridge Company’s production facility in Anoka.