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Sportsmen’s Act Introduced in Senate


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Several bills have been compiled to support our hunting heritage and access to public Lands.  (Credit: Eugene Hester / FWS)

Several bills have been compiled to support U.S. hunting and fishing heritage and access to public lands. (Credit: Eugene Hester/FWS)

On July 18, 2013, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 1335), a conglomeration of several bills dealing with hunting, fishing, and access to public lands. There are many similarities between this package and the 2012 Sportsmen’s Package (S. 3525) introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) last session, which narrowly failed. However, the 2013 package does not contain the reauthorizations of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (S. 51), or the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, or language similar to that of HR.1300 (to reauthorize volunteer programs and community partnership funds for National Wildlife Refuges).

This bi-partisan bill package does include reauthorizations of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (S. 368) and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (S. 741). It would amend the Federal Duck Stamp Act to include a duck stamp subsistence waiver and a Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act (S. 738). The bill would also allow Pitman-Robertson funds to be used to create and maintain shooting ranges.

Section 401 of the bill would bar Environmental Protection Agency oversight of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle under the toxic control act. Section 101 seeks to increase recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting accessibility to Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands, establishing an “open until closed” policy. This section is the Senate equivalent of the recent stand-alone House bill, The Recreation Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (HR 1825), with only small differences between the two versions.

 

Title 1:

Sec. 101 – Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (S. 170)

Sec. 102 – Bows Transported through National Parks

Sec. 103 – Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act (firearms at water resources development projects) (H.R. 2046)

Sec. 104 – Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act (Permits for the importation of 41 polar bear trophies taken in sports hunts in Canada) (HR 1818) (S. 847)

Sec. 105 – Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (HR 2463) (S. 1212)

 

Title 2: Duck Hunting

Sec. 201 – Duck Stamp Subsistence Waiver

Sec. 202 – Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act (HR 1206) (S. 738)

 

Title 3: Reauthorizations

Sec. 301 – Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization (FTFLA) (HR 2068) (S. 368)

Sec. 302 – North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization (NAWCA) (S. 741)

 

Other:

Sec. 401 – The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (modification of definition of sport fishing equipment under the Toxic Substances Control Act) (HR 322)

Sec. 402 – Public Lands Filming

 

Sources: Denver Post (Nov. 17, 2012), Environment & Energy Daily (July 19, 2013), NWF Side-by Side Comparison of S. 170 and HR. 1825 (June 6, 2013), ),  Senate Press Release (July 18, 2013), Sportsmen’s Act S. 1335, Senate Summary (2013).

 

Previous TWS Articles: Sportsmen’s Bill Struggles in Lame Duck Senate (Dec. 11, 2012).



View the full article from The Wildlife Society's Wildlife Policy News
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