Topeka, KS – Sportsmen will now have an influential ally in the State Legislature as Kansas forms its Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus with a Kick-Off event at the Topeka Country Club this evening.  The Caucus will also become the 35th state affiliated with the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). A Sportsmen’s Caucus is formed by passionate, like-minded legislators that understand America’s hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage and its importance to wildlife management and its economic importance to the state. Caucus members set partisan politics aside and maintain a unified front by remaining informed and organized on the sportsmen’s legislative issues they see every day.

Tonight’s event will bring together current members of the caucus, other interested legislators and members of numerous state conservation groups like the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. Outdoor writers, outfitters and trappers have expressed an interest in the caucus and will attend the reception to visit with legislators about the new caucus and the sportsmen’s legislative issues in Kansas.  Bethany Erb, State Caucus Manager from NASC will also be there to celebrate the caucus’s first formal gathering.

The Legislative co-chairmen of the new bipartisan caucus are House Majority Leader Ray Merrick and Representative Gary Hayzlett.  Tonight, the co-chairmen will announce the formation of the caucus, its objectives for 2008 and its affiliation with NASC. Both of the Representatives and other Kansas policy-makers attended several NASC events in 2007 including the Annual Summit in Missouri last November where they met with NASC officials and were able to interact with caucus state legislators from around the country.

“It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the Kansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus,” said Majority Leader Ray Merrick.  “Hunting and fishing are ingrained in the Kansas lifestyle, it’s about time we had a dedicated group to work on these issues.”

Representative Gary Hayzlett said, “After I attended the NASC annual meeting last fall I realized what an excellent organization it is.” I am excited that the Kansas caucus is about to launch and affiliate with NASC.”  “The ability to get sportsmen and legislators on the same page is a real plus for the State of Kansas and for sportsmen across the Nation.”

Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucuses nationwide, with the support of NASC are vigilant when it comes to issues that affect hunting, fishing, firearms and conservation. Legislators become actively engaged with the sportsmen’s community, state conservation organizations and the outdoors industry to advance issues that ensure the heritage of hunting and fishing and to stand against legislation that would negatively impact the outdoors heritage of the states’ sportsmen.

About the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, a program of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), serves as the umbrella for 35 affiliated state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses. NASC is the leader in providing information to protect and promote sportsmen’s issues in state legislatures, serving as the venue for focused interaction and idea exchange among state caucus leaders and the outdoors community.  For additional information, visit the NASC website at http://www.statesportsmenslink.org/ or call 202-543-6907