NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- The National Shooting Sports Foundation applauds yesterday's bipartisan approval by the Senate of an amendment that will expand funding for conservation and improve access to public lands for sportsmen and women.
In reauthorizing the $1.4 billion Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Senate approved a measure to dedicate 1.5 percent of funds to securing public access to existing public lands.
Securing funding for “making public lands public” is an NSSF legislative priority that is strongly supported by over 40 conservation and sportsmen's organizations. Projects to provide access to public lands will include acquiring conservation easements on private parcels that currently prevent access to large swaths of public land.
“Expanded access to public land is vital to both today's sportsmen and future generations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Increased access results in increased participation.”
Introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the amendment will be included in a broader transportation bill that is expected to pass the full chamber by Tuesday. The bill then heads to the House, where support for LWCF funding is less certain.
The LWCF provision would double current funding levels for the program to $700 million for each of the next two years and reauthorize it until 2022 at $1.4 billion total. Funding comes from a portion of offshore oil and gas leasing revenues.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 7,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.