Important Legislation for Sportsmen Needs Your Support!

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance is urging hunters and anglers across the country to voice their support for important legislation being considered in the nation’s capital. Senators Kay Hagan and Lisa Murkowski’s Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363) is scheduled to reach the floor of the Senate next week immediately after the Independence Day recess. This critical legislation is comprised of several pro-sportsmen bills supported by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance that will help maintain and support American hunting and fishing traditions for decades to come.

This package of the pro-sportsmen bills include the following important conservation measures:
-Guarantee that a percentage of Land and Water Conservation Fund spending would go towards improving sportsmen’s access to public lands.
-Allow proceeds from the sale of some federal public lands to be directed towards critical conservation priorities on other public lands.
-Protect and restore important wetlands by funding grants that incentivize conservation partnerships.

The package also includes the following pro-sportsmen regulatory reforms:
-Allow the Secretary of the Interior to issue electronic federal duck stamps.
-Protect traditional hunting ammunition and fishing tackle.
-Allow states to use Pittman-Robertson funds to establish public shooting ranges.
-Clarify the right of Americans to practice hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on public lands.

Individually, these bills represent important stand-alone pieces of sportsmen-friendly legislation. Together, they are part of a total sportsmen’s package that will help maintain our hunting and angling traditions for generations to come. These bills will increase access to public lands, provide more opportunities for recreational shooting, and fund important wildlife conservation programs.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 needs the support of the hunting and angling community in order to be passed in the U.S. Senate! Time is running out before the August recess and the Senate will move on this bill this week. Contact both of your senators and ask them to pass S.2363, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014.

Make Your Voice Heard on Bristol Bay

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its historic scientific assessment of Bristol Bay, Alaska and its watershed. Sportsmen’s conservation groups from across the spectrum have united in support of this assessment and vowed to protect the region from the proposed Pebble Mine. This mine would be the largest open pit mine in North America and could potentially damage the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.

The EPA’s assessment concludes:
 The commercial fishery and other natural resource-related industries around Bristol Bay provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs, while contributing $480 million to the economy every year.
Even at its smallest possible size, Pebble Mine would eradicate dozens of miles of salmon streams and thousands of acres of wetlands.
 Evidence from other large mines suggest that “at least one or more accidents or failures could occur, potentially resulting in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat.”

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance is one of the more than five hundred hunting and angling groups from across the country fighting to protect Bristol Bay. You can add your voice to the movement to save Bristol Bay by commenting on the EPA’s watershed assessment and voicing your support for the Bay!

ENTER TO WIN A FISHING TRIP TO BRISTOL BAY HERE

Here are several ways you can send in comments:

  • Submit online at: www.regulations.gov.  Specify Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189. This is the preferred method.  The link above takes you directly to the docket. Just click on the blue “Comment Now” button.  It is okay to leave the organization field blank. Documents can be attached to your comment.
  • Send an email to ORD.Docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189 in the subject line.
  • Fax them to (202) 566-9744. Include EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189 in the subject line.
  • Send a letter to EPA Bristol Bay docket at:

Office of Environmental Information
(Mail Code: 28221T)
Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20460

TEMPLATE LETTER TO EPA

(You may also send a personalized letter)

Conserve Bristol Bay: Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189.

Dear XXXX,

I am writing on behalf of myself and the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance to commend the EPA for the diligent work, transparent process and extensive scientific review in evaluating the potentially destructive impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay, Alaska region through its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

Your report makes clear that we cannot wait any longer to protect Bristol Bay’s natural resources, Native peoples, commercial fishing jobs and industry, and tremendous recreational opportunities from the unavoidable consequences of mega-scale mining.  Bristol Bay and its healthy sockeye fishery supports 14,000 jobs across multiple industries and generates more than $1 billion in revenue and value every year. It also supplies nearly half of the global supply of sockeye salmon. Beyond numbers, one cannot fully quantify the experience of sport fishing and hunting in Bristol Bay – and EPA rightly acknowledges that reality, especially in Appendix E, where you explore passive use values and the aesthetic, even spiritual qualities of recreating in Bristol Bay.

It is time for the Pebble Partnership to stop playing games and politics with what are clearly unacceptable impacts. The EPA’s Assessment finds that even in an impossibly optimistic best-case scenario – without a catastrophe or series of harmful spills – up to 90 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,300 acres of vital salmon habitat will be destroyed by mining the deposit.

With so many jobs, livelihoods, tradition, and more at stake, it is clear that we cannot risk Bristol Bay’s commercial fishery and recreation industry (which can provide for generations) in favor of a short-sighted mining scenario that will provide short-term jobs and long-term waste.

We respectfully but firmly ask that you immediately initiate use of the Clean Water Act to restrict inappropriate development activities such as the proposed Pebble Mine, while allowing reasonable development to proceed in the Bristol Bay region.

Thank you for your work and for your attention to our concerns.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]
[CITY, STATE, ZIP]

Read the Federal Register notice to see detailed instructions on commenting.

You can view the view the document, find links for sending comments and read additional information on the web at www.epa.gov/bristolbay

Please contact smith.judy@epa.gov or 503-326-6994 if you have questions.

Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 needs your support today!

Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 needs your support today!

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance is urging hunters and anglers across the country to voice their support for important legislation being considered in Washington, DC. Senator Jon Tester’s Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is scheduled for a vote on the floor of the Senate this week. This critical legislation is comprised of several pro-sportsmen bills supported by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance that will help maintain and support American hunting and fishing traditions for decades to come.

Some of the pro-sportsmen bills include the following: The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, Making Public Lands Public Act, The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, and Bows Transported through National Parks.
Individually, these bills represent important stand-alone pieces of sportsmen-friendly legislation. Together, they are part of a total sportsmen’s package that will help maintain our sporting traditions for generations to come. These bills will increase access to public lands, provide more opportunities for recreational shooting, and put into place several important wildlife conservation programs.

The Sportsmen’s Act needs the support of the hunting and angling community in order to be passed in the U.S. Senate! Time is running out on this Congress and the Senate will vote on this bill this week. The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is being debated right now, meaning that a final push from our sporting community is needed in Washington D.C.

Please Contact Your Senator, through the links below, and let them know YOU SUPPORT THE SPORTSMEN’S ACT of 2012!
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Sportsmen Commend Passage of Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act

Denver, CO –  The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Target Paractice and Marksmanship Training Act (H.R. 3065).   The bill  provides a better funding mechanism for the development of public shooting ranges for use by the nation’s hunters and shooters. 

Originally drafted by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, the Act was introduced in the House by Rep. Heath Shuler (D – NC) and included as Title XII of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2578).  The bill was passed by the House yesterday afternoon with bipartisan support.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act amends the Pittman-Roberson Act making it easier to build new shooting and archery ranges while improving existing ones.  The bill accomplishes this  by eases federal restrictions on the required matching funds local communities need to provide for shooting range projects, and increases the federal cost share of shooting range projects from 75 percent of the cost of the project to 90 percent.  Doing so frees more money available by both the Pittman-Robertson Act and local communities that may be used to develop quality shooting ranges.   The bill also extends the timeline for local communities to complete a project – allowing them to accrue matching funds over a greater amount of time, or locate additional funding partners.

“By giving states greater flexibility over the use of Pittman-Robertson funds, this bill represents a commonsense solution that helps states and sportsmen.  The bill will make more money available to build and maintain public shooting ranges without increasing federal spending,” said Gaspar Perricone, Co-Director of the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance.  

The bill will now go before a vote in the Senate, where it is sponsored by Senator Mark Udall (D – CO). 

“Hunting and recreational shooting are an important part of our national heritage,” said Senator Udall.  “The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act is a bipartisan, common-sense proposal that improves shooting-range access for sport shooters and hunters. Now that the House has acted, it is time for the Senate to follow suit.” 

Senate Passes Farm Bill

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance lauds the bi-partisan leadership of Sen. Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (KS), as well as Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) for passing the 2012 Farm Bill in the US Senate.

While heeding the call for cuts in Farm Bill spending, the Senate was able to leave critical conservation policies intact.  In an effort to cut spending, some programs were streamlined and consolidated, but sportsmen will continue to enjoy the benefits of successful conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and Sodsaver.  An amendment by Senator Saxby Chambliss (GA) also ties crop insurance availability to conservation compliance, and will ensure that taxpayer dollars are going to farmers that manage their lands in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

Attention now shifts to the House of Representatives, as members work to finish their version of the Farm Bill.  Sportsmen across the country should continue to make their representatives aware of the need for a strong conservation title in the Farm Bill and urge the House to use the work done by the Senate as a guide.

Click here find contact information for your representative: http://congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt

Mixed Reaction by Sportsmen to Deal Struck on Highway Bill

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance commends the conference committee for the surface transportation bill for its inclusion of a key provision protecting Gulf restoration efforts in the final version of the deal struck by Democrats and Republicans late Wednesday.  However, the Alliance is disappointed that the committee failed to include an appropriation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund that was part of the Gulf provision passed out of the Senate.  “It’s really a mixed bag for sportsmen,” noted BMSA Co-Director Gaspar Perricone.

The RESTORE Act provision agreed to in the deal would direct 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines paid by BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to restoring the environment and communities along the Gulf coast.  Estimates of potential funds available from these fines range from $5 billion to $20 billion.  These fines are critical to fighting the dizzying loss of coastal wetlands in Louisiana, where hunting, angling, and other outdoor activities generated $4.61 billion in 2006, the most recent data collection time frame.  Louisiana has lost more than 1,800 square miles of land to open water since 1932, damaging irreplaceable waterfowl wintering habitat and fish spawning grounds and nurseries. “The Gulf coast, especially coastal Louisiana, is a destination for sportsmen across the country.  We’re glad that Congress has finally chosen to restore this invaluable resource, more than two years after the oil spill,” said Perricone.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides funding for the acquisition and conservation of critical lands and helps provide access to public lands to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.  LWCF funds have been used to protect potholes and grassland in the prairies, mitigate oil and gas development along the Gulf coast, protect parks and state wildlife management areas in the Midwest, and hundreds of other beneficial applications in every state.  The provision eliminated by the highway conferees included a ‘Making Public Lands Public’ component that would have guaranteed that a dedicated portion of all LWCF funds would go towards securing access for hunters and anglers to public lands facing accessibility problems.  Included in the Senate’s highway bill, the cutting of the LWCF appropriation in a final package leaves sportsmen looking to the House members of the conference committee for answers.

“Losing LWCF is extremely disappointing, particularly because the Fund doesn’t cost American taxpayers anything,” noted Perricone.  “Public lands that anyone can visit and use are what sets hunting and fishing in America apart from the rest of the world.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a vital part of this public lands legacy and we’ll continue to push for a solid appropriation.”

Contact Congress and help prevent cuts to important conservation programs.

From Ducks Unlimited

The House of Representatives, Senate, Super Committee and administration are in significant discussions regarding the fate of conservation funding for Fiscal Year 2012 and beyond. It is imperative that we make our voices heard.

All appropriations for conservation, recreation and historic preservation make up only about 1.25 percent of the federal budget. THESE PROGRAMS DID NOT CAUSE THE DEFICIT AND DEBT, AND CUTTING FUNDING TO THESE PROGRAMS CANNOT SOLVE THESE BUDGET CHALLENGES.

The federal budget for all conservation, recreation and historic preservation programs amounts to around $23 billion. BUT, for that $23 billion investment, federal, state and local tax revenues amount to more than $100 billion, stimulate an economy of $1.06 trillion, and support 9.7 million jobs, none of which can be exported to other countries!

Click here to send a draft letter to your Representatives and Senators requesting that they not disproportionately cut these programs and, instead, ensure their funding at the Fiscal Year 2010 levels. Simply put, when trying to address a deficit and a huge debt, one should not throw away programs that actually make the treasury money!

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TODAY!

Sincerely,

Dale Hall

Ducks Unlimited
Chief Executive Officer

Please Take Action to Ask Your Senators to Help Restore the Klamath Basin


Dear  fellow sportsman,

Please visit our online action center today and urge your Senator to co-sponsor a bill to implement the Klamath Agreements and begin the restoration process for the Klamath Basin.

WHY WE CARE

Removing the lower four dams on the Klamath River will implement the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and end at least a decade of bitter struggle between farmers, ranchers, tribes and sportsmen. It will also restore salmon and steelhead to a region that hasn’t seen returns of these fish for decades.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please visit our online action center today and take action to urge your Senator to co-sponsor a bill to implement the Klamath Agreements.
Sincerely,

Brian Johnson
California Director
Trout Unlimited
bjohnson@tu.org

Tom Wolf
Chair
Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited
tmilowolf@msn.com

Drew Irby
Chair
California Council of Trout Unlimited
irbysan@hotmail.com

Colorado Sportsmen Face Threat of Losing $26 Million Per Year

Colorado Sportsmen Face Threat of Losing $26 Million Per Year for Wildlife and Hunting and Fishing Management

Please contact committee members now and tell them to OPPOSE HB-1150!

House Bill-1150, introduced last week in the Colorado General Assembly, will transfer $5 million per year from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) for the next ten years, hurting sportsmen across the state.

In addition to the loss of the $5 million, which is derived from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, the bill further constitutes a “diversion of funds” that will result in an additional loss of $21 million per year in matching federal funds. These federal funds come from excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment dedicated to support wildlife management activities – including hunting and angling. The loss of $21 million per year will continue indefinitely until the original funds diverted are repaid.

HB-1150 effectively eliminates nearly $26 million per year from the DOW for ten years – compromising its ability to manage wildlife and hunting and fishing recreation. The DOW derives the bulk of its funding from sportsmen and women, and does not receive any tax revenue from the general public. The future of hunting and angling cannot afford a $260 million hit!

To learn more, including what programs are funded by the $21 million derived from excise taxes on your equipment, visit www.BullMooseSportsmen.org

Please contact members of the House Agriculture Committee before February 21st and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 11-1150.

Contact information:
Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg: Sterling
jerry@repsonnenberg.com, 303-866-3706

Rep. Randy Baumgardner: Hot Sulphur Springs
randybaumgardner@gmail.com, 303-866-2949

Rep. J.Paul Brown: Ignacio
brownjpaul@yahoo.com, 303-866-2914

Rep. Don Coram: Montrose
Don.coram.house@state.co.us, 303-866-2955

Rep. Randy Fischer: Ft. Collins
randyfischer@frii.com, 303-866-2917

Rep. Matt Jones: Louisville
repmattjones@gmail.com, 303-866-2920

Rep. Marsha Looper: Calhan
Marshalooper@gmail.com, 303-866-2946

Rep. Wes McKinley: Walsh
Wes.mckinley.house@state.co.us, 303-866-2398

Rep. Su Ryden: Aurora
Su.ryden.house@state.co.us, 303-866-2942

Rep. Ray Scott: Grand Junction
scott.house@state.co.us, 303-866-3068

Rep. Glenn Vaad: Mead
Glenn.vaad.house@state.co.us, 303-866-2943

Rep. Roger Wilson: Glenwood Springs
Roger.Wilson.house@state.co.us, 303-866-2945