Sportsmen’s Act Would Create Millions of Acres of Public Hunting Lands
While the farm bill is the most important piece of federal legislation to Pheasants Forever, it’s far from the only conservation tool created in Washington, D.C. This spring, Pheasants Forever is urging Congressional leaders to consider the bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Included in this bill are a variety of measures influencing the creation and management of lands open to public hunting.
The Sportsman’s Act includes the following titles:
- Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013 (S.738) authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Service to allow any state to provide federal duck stamps electronically. This measure should make it simpler to sell stamps, in turn leading to a greater pot of money for Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) acquisitions.
- North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization (S.741) provides matching grants to organizations, state and local governments, and private landowners for the acquisition, restoration, and enhancement of wetlands critical to the habitat of migratory birds. Pheasants Forever has been a grant recipient in many states leading to thousands of acres of protected critical grassland and wetland habitat.
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization (S.51); a non-profit that preserves and restores native wildlife species and habitats.
- Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act (S.170); the bill also requires the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, recreational fishing, and shooting.
- Making Public Lands Public requires 1.5% of annual Land and Water Conservation Fund for securing fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting access on federal public lands.
- Farmer and Hunter Protection Act; authorizes USDA extension offices to determine normal agricultural practices rather than the Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S.1505) exempts lead fishing tackle from being regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
- Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (S.1212) enables states to allocate a greater proportion of federal funding to create and maintain shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have joined a group of 40 organizations representing more than 40 million hunters and anglers asking the United States Senate to consider the Sportsmen’s Act following Memorial weekend recess.
You can help too. Contact your U.S. Senator and ask them to bring the Sportsmen’s Act to the Senate floor.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.
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