Bi-Partisan Sportsmen’s Package Introduced in the Senate

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance applauds Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for introducing their Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 1996). This bill would advance important conservation programs and increase access for sportsmen across the country. The package includes an impressive bipartisan list of ten cosponsors that include: Senators Mark Begich(AK), John Boozman (AR), Dean Heller (NV), John Hoevan (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Rob Portman (OH), Mark Pryor (AR), Jon Tester (MT), and David Vitter (LA). Both Senators Hagan and Murkowski had introduced sportsmen’s packages of their own earlier in the Congress, but combined the bills to create a stronger bipartisan effort.

“This bill strikes a good balance while providing resources for conservation and public access,” said Gaspar Perricone, Director of BMSA. “Sportsmen are an economic powerhouse in this country, contributing more than $86 billion to the economy each year. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act goes a long way to making sure that economic engine keeps churning, while protecting our outdoor traditions and sporting legacy.”

The Bi-Partisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 is comprised of 12 individual bills including:

-Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act: Gives the Secretary of the Interior permanent authority to authorize electronic duck stamps.
-Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act: Ensures that ammunition and lead fishing tackle are not regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
-Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act: Originally authored by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, this bill will allow states greater flexibility in spending federal Pittman-Robertson dollars so that shooting ranges on public lands can be built or upgraded.
-Duck Stamp Subsistence Waiver: Grants the Secretary of the Interior authority to waive duck stamp requirements for some subsistence users.
-Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act: Allows legal polar bear trophies taken on sport hunts in Canada to be imported into the U.S.
-Farmer and Hunter Protection Act: Directs the Secretary of the Interior to consult with local Department of Agriculture Extension offices to determine “normal agricultural practices” with regard to hunting migratory birds.
-Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act: Directs federal land managers to consider the effects of management decisions on opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting.
-Permits for Film Crews of 5 People or Less: Directs the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees on commercial film crews of five people or less that film on public land.
-Making Public Lands Public: Requires 1.5 percent of LWCF funding be dedicated to obtaining access for recreational users to public lands with limited public access.
-Reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act: Permanently reauthorizes a program allowing the Bureau of Land Management to sell public lands to private parties or local and county governments and generate funding for acquiring critical in-holdings from willing sellers.
-Reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act: Reauthorizes NAWCA through 2017 at a level of $40 million annually.
-Reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Reauthorizes the non-profit NFWF through 2019 at $25 million annually.

“We encourage Senate leadership to bass the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act as soon as possible.” Jared Mott, BMSA Policy Director noted.

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