House passes massive conservation act for positive gain
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47) that was previously passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this month. S. 47 benefits hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationalists as it protects millions of acres of public land and rivers, establishes four new national monuments and makes all federal land open to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting unless otherwise noted. The bill includes key pieces of the Sportsmen’s Act and is currently awaiting the President’s signature in order to become law.
“Bipartisanship is a hallmark of the Club approach to its work in policy matters,” said Timothy C. Brady, president of the Boone and Crockett Club (B&C), in a press release. “We are pleased with both the result and strong bipartisanship in reaching the result. This hard-won agreement helps wildlife and habitat by breaking impasses on tough issues such as federal public lands and litigation.”
Per B&C, the passage of this act specifically addresses the following:
- Declares that federal lands are open to public recreation, except in limited circumstances;
- Directs the NPS, BLM, USFS, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to annually identify lands where sporting related activities are permitted, but where access is currently unavailable or restricted;
- Requires public reporting of reimbursements of legal fees on lawsuits against the government - a step toward reigning in litigation for the sake of litigation;
- Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund with 3% or $15 million of annual appropriations made available for the purpose of securing additional access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other outdoor related activities;
- Authorizes use of qualified volunteer hunters in programs to control wildlife populations in National Parks;
- Authorizes hunters to transport bows through national parks.
“We especially would like to thank House Chairman Rail Grijalva (D-NM), Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for getting this important legislation through the House,” said Brady.