Posts Tagged ‘Sportsmen’s Act’

Action Alert: Pheasants Forever Urges Support of Sportsmen’s Act of 2014

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Sept. 089

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly advanced the bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363), moving the legislation one step closer to passage. The Sportsmen’s Act, which boasts the support of many national conservation and sportsmen organizations – including Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – representing millions of outdoorsmen and women, contains a host of provisions that stand to benefit hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists.

The Sportsmen’s Act will enact a variety of measures to facilitate the use of and access to federal public lands and waters for hunting, fishing, and shooting. Provisions in the bill will also help increase revenue for wildlife conservation, hunter education and shooting programs.

We urge Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members to contact their Senators and ask them to support the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (the House has passed a similar piece of legislation). Ask your Senator to:

  • Recognize conservation, wildlife and sportsmen and women by supporting the Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363)
  • Oppose amendments not related to Sportsmen’s Act legislation

Contact your U.S. Senator

We need your help in this final push for the Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. Thanks for your time and consideration, and for supporting Pheasants Forever and wildlife habitat conservation.

The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.

Sportsmen’s Act Would Create Millions of Acres of Public Hunting Lands

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Sept. 110

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.

Senate Sabotaging Sportsmen’s Act, Hope for a 2012 Farm Bill

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Thanks to ineffectiveness of the U.S. Congress, storm clouds continue to gather over bird hunters’ future ability to put a bird in their game vest.

I’ve spent the majority of the week in Washington, D.C. working on a variety of our conservation priorities; including the Sportsmen’s Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and of course the federal Farm Bill.

A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of the television news program 60 minutes focused on our political leaders’ desire to return to the statesmanship and bi-partisan cooperation of a bi-gone era.   I watched those Senators on camera and felt a renewed sense of hope.  This week’s visit to our nation’s capital made it clear those intentions were nothing more than a political façade.

Sportsman’s Act

This bill is an incredible compilation of hunter’s favorites in need of Congressional action.  It contains habitat programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners Program, and a host of other policies that would provide wildlife habitat and public hunting access.

Leading up to this week’s debate, the bill enjoyed the support of virtually every single hunting and wildlife conservation organization in the country; organizations representing millions of Americans.  The measure garnered strong bi-partisan support during early procedural votes to move the measure forward through Congress.  Yet, in the final hours, one single Senator raising a budget point of order brought the entire package down leaving it smoldering like a burned South Dakota cattail slough.

The point of order Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions raised focused on an increase to the price of the Federal Duck Stamp – a measure we support along with our friends at Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl.  The federal duck stamp has been an incredibly successful program in place since the ‘30’s and is desperately in need of additional revenues to keep pace with skyrocketing land prices.  The proposed increase in revenues from the wallets of willing waterfowlers and wetlands enthusiasts provided the ridiculously miniscule technicality allowing Senator Sessions to derail the entire bill.  Last minute attempts to resolve the  revenue issue by Senator Jon Tester working across the aisle with others including Senator John Thune using Thune’s sodsaver provision savings proved too little too late.  Even with resolution at this point Senator Boxer was prepared to intervene as well – all of this coming after nearly unanimous votes of 84 and 92 supporting passage.

 

Farm Bill

Several of our favorite Farm bill conservation programs remain closed to enrollment, pending action by Congress as well.  Leadership from both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees continue to press for pathways to complete action on the full five-year bill that has passed the full Senate and House Committee.  Several options remain possible including attaching the measure to end of the year legislation related to the fiscal cliff or extension of existing law for a shorter term.  House leadership offices have indicated that the measure will be acted upon in some fashion.

Take Action

Call on your elected Representative and both of your Senators right now.  Tell them to get it done on the Sportsmen’s Act, tell them to get it done on a comprehensive five-year farm bill, and most of all tell them to get it done on the fiscal cliff.  It’s time to forgo actions based upon an R or D behind names and to act together as Americans.  Help us urge Congress to expedite actions before the lame duck session ends.