Last summer, while checking my Mississippi State University email, something sent from our career center struck my eye. The email detailed the Brad Rowse Policy Internship with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF): a unique opportunity to engage in the policy process on hunting, fishing, and conservation. Given my passion for the outdoors and my aspirations in politics and government, I immediately knew how I wanted to spend my next summer.
It’s hard not to fall in love with the great outdoors when you live in the “Sportsman’s Paradise”, otherwise known as Louisiana. I have been an avid angler my entire life, and am fortunate enough to have access to world-class fishing opportunities in my home state. With trophy largemouth bass lakes such as Toledo Bend, marshes with the best redfish and seatrout fishing in the country, and countless opportunities for snapper and pelagics off the coast, Louisiana is a great place to call home. However, between restricted angling access and invasive species issues, it is easy to observe the threats to conservation and outdoor recreation.
Working on the front lines with CSF in efforts to combat those threats through policy and protect the interests of sportsmen like myself has been an incredibly rewarding experience. CSF provides its policy fellows the chance to actually contribute through research and writing issue briefs, and working directly with its States Program Team. Each day presents unique learning opportunities, whether you’re watching sportsmen’s legislation being advanced in real-time or listening to members of Congress and conservation leaders speak during CSF Breakfast Briefings on Capitol Hill.
The staff is professional yet personable, and their passion for the outdoors and conservation really shows in the work they do each and every day. It wasn’t long before I felt right at home in D.C.
I’ve had amazing fishing opportunities throughout my life. Few were better than catching hefty largemouth bass with new friends at the Tidal Basin, right under our nation’s most iconic national monuments. The Brad Rowse Policy Internship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t begin to thank CSF enough for the experience. If you have any remote interest in outdoor recreation or conservation, there’s no reason you shouldn’t apply to be a policy fellow at CSF.
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- Lack of access (19.51%)
- Expenses (equipment and licenses/stamps/fees) (15.45%)
- Burdensome or confusing regulations (12.20%)
- Overcrowded fishing locations (5.69%)
- Poor fishing experience due to low fish populations or small fish (17.07%)
- Conflicts with other users (e.g. boaters) (2.44%)
- Lack of time (27.64%)