Groups petition Congress for outdoors bill

The Sportsmen's Heritage Act would create more public fishing access

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Access to public waters would be opened up as part of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act, if it passes.

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Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade is the social media and B.A.S.S. Nation editor for B.A.S.S. Keep up with B.A.S.S. on Facebook and Twitter.

WASHINGTON — B.A.S.S. and 39 other organizations petitioned the United States Senate to pass the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, a bill that — among other things — would require recognition of fishing as an activity on more public lands and would prevent the EPA from banning lead fishing tackle.

“B.A.S.S. is pleased with the strong pro-sportsmen’s package outlined in the House Bill, and we hope this bill will pass the Senate,” said Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director. “It represents a significant step in recognizing the importance of hunting, recreational fishing and shooting, and will facilitate the expansion and enhancement of these pursuits. Moreover, it contains an important provision clarifying that EPA does not have jurisdiction to regulate lead fishing tackle.”

The letter follows in its entirety.


May 7, 2012

 

The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

The undersigned organizations from the recreational fishing, hunting, shooting, and wildlife conservation community ask that the Senate take up H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. This legislation, which passed the House with a strong bipartisan vote on April 17th, is comprised of several priority sportsmen’s bills being championed by the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Additionally, in these fiscal times, none of the provisions of H.R. 4089 contain any authorization for funding. We understand that not all of the eight sportsmen’s priority bills are included within H.R. 4089; however, we recognize the importance of quickly moving a strong, pro-sportsmen’s package in the Senate.

H.R. 4089 is a significant first step in recognizing the importance of and facilitating the expansion and enhancement of hunting and recreational fishing and shooting. H.R. 4089 is basically a compilation of three stand-alone Senate bills (S. 2066, S. 1066, and S. 838), plus an additional provision, that promotes and advances our hunting and recreational fishing and shooting heritage. Specifically, and of particular interest to this community, this legislation:

  • requires hunting and recreational shooting and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and incorporates much of the language and the intent of S. 2066;
  • amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow hunters who legally harvested polar bears in Canada prior to its listing under the Endangered Species Act to purchase permits in order to transport their trophies into the U.S. and incorporates much of the language and the intent of S. 1066;
  • clarifies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the jurisdiction to regulate traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle and incorporates the language and the intent of S.838 and
  • protects recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management.

The passage of H.R. 4089 is an important step in the advancement of America’s sporting heritage. We urge you to take up H.R. 4089 and quickly move a strong, pro-sportsmen’s package in the Senate. With your support, we can help overcome the obstacles facing sportsmen and women today and further the sportsmen’s tradition so that it can be handed down for generations to come.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with you to advance our hunting and recreational fishing and shooting heritage.

Sincerely,

American Sportfishing Association

Archery Trade Association

B.A.S.S. LLC

Boone and Crockett Club

Bowhunting Preservation Alliance

California Outdoor Heritage Alliance

Campfire Club of America

Catch-A-Dream Foundation

Center for Coastal Conservation

Coastal Conservation Association

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Conservation Force

Dallas Safari Club

Delta Waterfowl Foundation

Ducks Unlimited

Houston Safari Club

Mule Deer Foundation

National Marine Manufacturers Association

National Rifle Association

National Shooting Sports Foundation

National Trappers Association

National Wild Turkey Federation

North American Bear Foundation

North American Gamebird Association

North American Grouse Partnership

Pheasants Forever

Pope & Young Club

Quail Forever

Quality Deer Management Association

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Ruffed Grouse Society

Safari Club International

Shimano

Texas Wildlife Association

The Bass Federation

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance

Wild Sheep Foundation

Wildlife Management Institute

Whitetails Unlimited

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