More than 20 CWA volunteers, staff and board members spent Wednesday at the state Capitol talking about waterfowl, wetlands and hunting with lawmakers and staff on both sides of the aisle.
“It was so encouraging to get face time with our representatives and share with them what lights us up about the outdoors,” said CWA Lobby Day participant Shannon Drake (on left in photo below), an avid new hunter who got her start with CWA’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. “To answer their questions honestly and feel their attitudes shift in such a short period of time, I actually feel like I made a difference in our government.”
Teams of CWA staff and volunteers visited the offices of 45 legislators, sharing their diverse perspectives and backgrounds, ranging from new hunters like Drake to lifelong hunters like Andre Fontenot. Volunteers shared personal stories, and CWA staff stressed the need to improve habitat for waterfowl, strengthen wildlife-friendly agriculture and ensure that hunting laws and regulations are rooted in science, not emotion.
“Meeting our legislators from around the state, advocating on behalf of CWA and participating in our government process was an invaluable experience, not to mention really fun,” said Life Member Jerry Carroll (second from right in photo above).
Fontenot, a Western Outdoor News correspondent, was energized by the event as well. “What I enjoyed most about the day was meeting the CWA employees who work hard behind the scenes for us,” Fontenot said. “I also loved meeting fellow waterfowlers who share the same passion as I and hearing their stories about what hunting means to them. It was a very beneficial and rewarding day!”