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10/02/2013

NWTF Supports Pro-Sportsmen Legislation in Senate

EDGEFIELD, S.C.—The National Wild Turkey Federation has announced its support of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2013, a package of pro-sportsmen legislation introduced in the Senate by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2013 is a bi-partisan effort to protect hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on federal lands and to eliminate many legal loopholes used to impede the sporting community. The NWTF encourages its members and other sportsmen to contact their congressional representatives to urge their support of the important, bi-partisan legislation.

“The NWTF strongly supports the pro-sportsmen legislative package introduced by Senator Murkowski,” said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO. “This legislation dovetails perfectly with the NWTF’s new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, which aims to conserve 4 million acres, create 1.5 million new hunters and open 500,000 acres to public hunting.”

The NWTF is also working with the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to extend stewardship contracting authorities, which will enable the NWTF to continue its partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service and other organizations to improve habitat on public lands through active forest management.  The reauthorization of stewardship contracting has seen widespread support in congress, including passage in the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill and also has passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources.  NWTF is pursuing an “all of the above” strategy to include this critical provision in a legislative vehicle.

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2013 includes many key legislative priorities for sportsmen, including:

Making Public Lands Public - This section requires that the 1.5% of annual funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund is made available to secure access to existing federal public lands that have limited access for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.

The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act - This section excludes ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act and leaves these decisions to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act - This provision protects the publics’ right to engage in recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on federal lands. It mandates that land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service be open to recreational hunting, fishing and shooting unless specifically closed by the agencies.

Bows Transported through National Parks - This provision clarifies previous legislation and allows bows to be transported across national park lands.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act - Amends the Pittman-Robertson Act to adjust the funding limitations and allow funds to be available to states for a longer period of time for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges.

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