To learn more about the MCA (Mass Conservation Alliance) effort, the depth and breadth, etc, read-on This info is not meant to convince anyone of anything – it is only to shed more light on the breadth, depth, and ramp-up of the effort by the MCA and the 2021 MCA Action Fund, since the past few years of less costly legislature influencing methods by WCLSC and MCA have yielded only dead-ends and frustrations for no results despite the high-level of volunteer effort by Norco members, WCLSC clubs, and leagues across the state.
WCLSC is a founding member of the resurrected MCA. https://www.massconservationalliance.org/about-us.html
MCA now has touchpoints and representation by every county league in the state plus several other sports-minded organizations (central MA NWTF, MA Sportsman’s Council, GOAL, Boston Bowhunters, central MA Whitetails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Mass Trappers). MCA is a coalition for a state-wide voice for sportsmen. There are no dues for MCA and the organizations to join the effort. Programs have come through donations and contributions of the county leagues or the generosity of certain MCA leaders. So, to run programs such as a lobbyist, it is 100% grass root donations.
WCLSC president is a co-chair of MCA along with a Plymouth County League President. Norco is a member of WCLSC, along with 50 other county clubs. WCLSC is the largest and best resourced county league due to its size, number of clubs, and being in the better part of the state to hunt and fish. So, many things MCA is able to get done is with WCLSC volunteer leaders and infrastructure. www.wclsc.org
MCA has increased its visibility with a rebranded website, press releases, and running the MCA Action Fund Campaign. https://www.massconservationalliance.org/ . This up leveling is due to the past 2 years has had little effect with campaigns with letters, post cards, and call-in-programs for cross-bow and other legislation. The supporting body in the legislature is the MA Sportsman’s Caucus….many senators and house reps from both political parties. The leadership of the state caucus is
also part of the national caucus organized by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation https://congressionalsportsmen.org/state/ma .
The state level sportsmen’s caucus is the group that recommended to MCA to go with lobbyists and recommended which lobbyists to consider. The state-level legislators have remarked how their legislator peers have treated (ignored) past campaigns and appeals of sportsmen with their letters, postcards, and calls-ins.
MCA was active in the early 2000s and used lobbyists to ensure the DFW funds were not depleted/transferred into the General Fund.
More or less, all the less expensive ways of sportsmen trying to get legislative action in the past years have not yielded anything. https://www.massconservationalliance.org/current-and-past-campaigns.html So, instead of giving up, MCA listened to the MA legislative caucus to try the lobbying route. The MCA plan is to have lobbying for 6 months and if there is good progress after 6 months, fund the next 6 months.; take inventory of whether more than 12 months is needed and next steps at that point in time. If MCA determines the progress is not good, then remaining donated funds will be returned to the clubs, organizations, and individuals. The MCA goal is to raise $70K for one year of lobbying, but will cut its losses at $35K for only 6 months. To date, there is over $51K in donations from across the state (see further below how Norco and Norco members can get visibility,
MCA will take credit for having DFW modify their original fee schedule and reduction in stamp prices, plus motivated legislators to pass a senate budget amendment with state General Funds ($1M) to offset free and discounted sporting licenses. The MCA survey done earlier this year captured and quantified the voice of the sportsmen that made a strong impact with legislators in the caucus, DFW, and the Governor’s Office.
MCA plans to put out monthly progress reports for the legislative program with the lobbyists to the member leagues, for the leagues to cascade down to clubs, clubs to members. MCA updates are already featured in the WCLSC monthly newspaper, in the front of the newspaper. MCA is just starting an opt-in email list so the MCA info flow is direct to the newsletter subscriber instead of the cascading through the leagues and clubs. This is just getting started; once established, I will send around the sign-up info and sent to the entire club. https://www.massconservationalliance.org/mca-email-list-signup.html
For those who have raised questions about how to make contributions, there are several ways direct to MCA:
– check or credit card https://www.massconservationalliance.org/donations-by-check-and-credit-card.html
– sporting items for the raffle and auction https://www.massconservationalliance.org/mca-action-fund-silent-auction.html
– participate in the September 18th luncheon, raffles, and auction
– MCA merchandise has a built-in donation https://www.massconservationalliance.org/mca-action-fund-merchandise.html
Though GOAL and MCA are taking different approaches on how to get certain sportsmen legislation passed, both are using donations to hire lobbyists
– MCA has taken a friends of the DFW approach, supporting the revised DFW fee increase schedule, and MCA has hired a lobbyist to work on this legislation at this time : https://www.massconservationalliance.org/legislation-of-interest.html
– GOAL’s Jim Wallace is a lobbyist and they have just hired a second person to expand their lobbying activities …this new resource is to work the full list of GOAL legislation, including new bills file such as Lifetime LTC Card.
– GOAL is also using an electronic signed petition to quantify the voice of the sportsmen (similar to MCA using a survey earlier in the year) https://www.change.org/StopMassWildlifeFeeIncreases ; they have collected 2700 signatures now and want to get to 5000 . Every Norco member is encouraged to consider signing on
-Both GOAL and MCA are both pushing for sportsmen legislation to be passed; in this case, more is better.
Norco is a member of GOAL https://www.goal.org/Worcester-County ; Norco does recommend every firearm owner in the state should be a member of GOAL, https://www.goal.org/. If you wish to donate to GOAL, their link is as follows: https://www.goal.org/Donate
Norco and its MCA Donations
– Norco Executive Committee voted to have a 1 to 1 match, for every Norco member donation. Not to exceed $1000 (for the Norco outlay) . Norco Members in aggregate, can contribute more than $1000. Just the first thousand of individual funds will be matched by Norco for one thousand dollars. Last night, Rocky and Duffy added some spice to the mix to increase the match with their own personal funds as incremental matches as well. As of 7/10, Norco is just over $750 .
– MCA does have a list of sponsors for the amounts given. Norco will eventually be added to the list once we submit donated funds.