The NWTF applauds Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), along with original cosponsors, Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for their introduction of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015.
The NWTF is also appreciative of Chairman Murkowski moving so swiftly on a hearing to advance the bill benefiting America’s community of sportsmen.
“We are thrilled that this bipartisan legislation has been introduced early in the 114th Congress,” stated NWTF Chief Conservation Officer Becky Humphries. “The NWTF is dedicated to working with these members to pass this important legislation. NWTF will continue to work with our partners and members of Congress in the House on similar legislation.”
The NWTF has been working with Congress and our partner conservation organizations for several years to pass legislation included in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. The legislation is consistent with key objectives in the NWTF’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
The bill includes 14 provisions, several similar to those within the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. Among the provisions are requirements for the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. The bill also requires the agencies to facilitate the use of and access to federal public lands and waters, and would set aside funding to improve recreational access to federal lands.
Other key provisions of the legislation that NWTF strongly supports include:
• Making Public Lands Public — Using Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars to secure access for sportsmen to public lands currently either landlocked or otherwise significantly restricted.
• HUNT Act — Directs all federal public land management agencies to identify and develop plans to provide access to federal lands, where hunting and fishing are permitted but access is non-existent or significantly restricted.
• Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection — Clarifies that ammunition, ammunition components and fishing equipment are exempt from regulation by the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
• Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act — This section makes more funds available to state fish and wildlife agencies for developing shooting ranges.
• North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization — Reauthorizes this vital matching-grant program, which for the last 20 years has conserved more than 20 million acres of wetland and associated upland across North America, benefiting migratory birds and other wildlife.