Washington, DC –-(Ammoland.com)- Your Trusted Source for Federal and State Policy Updates and News Concerning Our Sportsmen's Heritage.
ON CAPITOL HILL
Amendment on Equal Access to Justice Act Passe
On June 25, the House of Representatives agreed by a voice vote to track and report payments made under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) member Representative Cynthia Lummis (WY) negotiated the bipartisan agreement in the Judiciary Committee, which amended and reported the Government Litigation Savings Act (H.R. 1996) earlier in this session. EAJA was originally intended to reimburse small businesses, seniors and veterans for successfully challenging the government in litigation when no other laws provided that reimbursement. However, some environmental groups currently use a loophole in EAJA to recover their legal expenses as well, even though environmental laws already reimburse fees in those cases. Prior to the floor debate, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation sent out an action alert urging Caucus members to support this amendment.
Recreational Fishing Issues in the Gulf of Mexico
At the Breakfast Briefing hosted by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation on June 19, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) member Representative Steven Palazzo (MS) expressed the concerns of the recreational fishing community that the Idle Iron guidance issued by the Department of the Interior is having an adverse impact on marine habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. In response, Representative Palazzo sent a letter to Secretary Salazar on July 25 requesting a temporary moratorium be placed on the removal of structures related to this directive. This letter signed by 20 members of Congress, included CSC Co-Chairs Representative Jeff Miller and Representative Mike Ross as well as other CSC members.
Also of concern in the Gulf of Mexico are the threats of sector separation and catch shares. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) is currently considering a proposal to further subdivide the recreational fishing allocation by awarding charter boats their own guaranteed allocation. The bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Representatives Jeff Miller and Mike Ross sent a letter on July 25 to Doug Boyd, Vice Chairman of the Council, urging them to wait until further assessment of the allocation issues for mixed sector (commercial and recreational) fisheries is conducted before making a decision that could impact recreational fishing opportunity and, in turn, conservation funding.
Senate Introduces Sportsmen's Act of 2012
Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Co-Chair Senator Jon Tester is currently trying to move a sportsmen's package, the Sportsmen's Act of 2012, in the Senate. This legislation is nearly identical to an amendment proposed to the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill. It is a compilation of a number of different bills that promote and advance America's hunting and recreational fishing and shooting heritage; additionally, this bill provides for the continued authorization of several vital conservation programs, including those that enhance critical habitat for waterfowl and other fish and wildlife populations. Several of the hunting and fishing bills included in this legislation have passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis as part of H.R.4089.
Four bills contained in the package are also moving independently in the Senate. On July 25, the Senate committee on Environment and Public Works marked up the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act of 2012 (S. 2282), Migratory Bird Habitat Investment and Enhancement Act (S. 2156), Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2012 (S. 2071), and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 1494). S. 2282, the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act, would amend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to extend it through 2017. NAWCA uses federal funds to leverage non-federal funds at an average 3:1 ratio to deliver habitat conservation. S. 2156 would permit the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, to set the price for future duck stamps while considering inflation and other factors that might warrant a price increase, within limits established by Congress. The price of the federal duck stamp, currently $15, has not increased since 1991. S. 2071 would expand availability of federal duck stamps online. Hunters will still receive their paper stamps, but can now electronically purchase and receive a validation number for the federal duck stamp immediately, before heading out to the blind. S. 1494 would reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act, which established the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as a federally chartered charitable, non-profit corporation to administer donations of real or personal property, or interests therein, in connection with Fish and Wildlife Service programs and conservation activities in the United States.
Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Sends Letter on Trophy Importation
The Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council sent a letter on July 19 to Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), requesting the Service modify its practices regarding the importation and exportation of hunting trophies. The Service has adopted a very strict interpretation of the rules dealing with the importation and exportation of trophies that suffer from technical or procedural irregularity – port personnel often seize such trophies rather than allow for other, less-drastic means of addressing documentation or other technical problems.
2012 Farm Bill Passes in the House Agriculture Committee
On July 11, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 – commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill” – by a bipartisan vote of 35-11. Overall, the bill includes $35 billion in spending cuts ($23 billion was cut in the Senate version) and 100 amendments. The conservation title was cut by $6.1 billion. Congress now faces a September 30 deadline for passing a new version of the Farm Bill before the current bill expires.
CSF Welcomes New Communications Coordinator to Team
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has expanded its communications presence with the recent arrival of Cole Henry (bio), who will serve as the CSF's Communications Coordinator. Cole has joined the team to handle CSF's communications strategy and will work to expand our organization's message of protecting and promoting the voice of America's sportsmen. Prior to joining CSF, Cole worked as an advertising executive at The Hill newspaper.
Position Announcement: Administrative Assistant
As the scope and reach of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has grown over the years, our staff has expanded to ensure high quality service to the members of our network of sportsmen's caucuses. In order to continue this expansion, the CSF is presently accepting applications for the position of Administrative Assistant. This new staff member will assist with all office operations and provide administrative support to management. To learn more about this position and how to apply, click here.
Governor's Sportsmen's Caucus Reception
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation held a reception on July 14 for members of the Governor's Sportsmen's Caucus (GSC) concurrent with the National Governor's Association Annual Meeting. Members of the GSC, conservation community and related industries gathered to discuss sportsmen's issues and legislative successes within their states. Additionally, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was officially recognized for his new position within the caucus as Vice-Chair, and Governor Dan Malloy (CT) joined the GSC as the 24th member. For more about this event, view the official press release.
August Recess Shoot-Out
The annual August Recess Shoot-Out will be held Tuesday, August 7. This event is designed to bring Congressional staff and the sportsmen's community together for a fun day out of the office. Throughout the day, attendees will learn about and experience the fun and camaraderie provided by participating in the shooting sports. If you have any questions or would like to join us, contact PJ Carleton at (202) 543-6850 ex. 22 or [email protected].
Political Convention Events
The Stars & Stripes Shoot-Out occurs every four years in conjunction with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. This year, the events will be held on August 28, in Tampa, Florida at the Republican Convention and September 4, in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Democratic Convention. These events provide a chance for members of the caucuses affiliated with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation to join like-minded sportsmen for a day of friendly shooting sports competition. If you have any questions or would like to join us, contact PJ Carleton at (202) 543-6850 ex. 22 or [email protected].
23rd Annual Banquet & Auction
The 23rd Annual Banquet & Auction: A Celebration of America's Sporting Heritage will be held Wednesday, September 19. The yearly Banquet & Auction provides an opportunity for the outdoor sporting community, supporters and friends of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation to recognize the tremendous work of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in keeping sportsmen in the field. If you have any questions or would like to join us, contact PJ Carleton at (202) 543-6850 ex. 22 or [email protected].
8th Annual Wine, Wheels & Wildlife
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has once again partnered with NASCAR legend and CSF board member Richard Childress to celebrate America's outdoor traditions at the 8th annual Wine, Wheels & Wildlife event on Wednesday, October 17. This unique event presents an opportunity for the nation's leading sportsmen and women, along with political leaders and NASCAR affiliates, to enjoy an evening outdoors at Childress Vineyards. If you have any questions regarding this event or if you would like to join us, contact PJ Carleton at (202) 543-6850 ex. 22 or [email protected].
National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses' 9th Annual Sportsman – Legislator Summit
The National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC) will be holding its 9th Annual Sportsman – Legislator Summit in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in late November. The NASC Sportsman-Legislator Summit is the largest gathering of pro-sportsmen legislators that occurs each year. This event provides the bipartisan group of sportsmen-legislators – representing states across the nation – with the opportunity to interact with state and federal natural resource agencies, allied non-governmental conservation organizations and industries concerned with the future of our nation's outdoor heritage. The meeting is also an opportunity for legislators to gather together to discuss issues impacting the sportsmen's conservation community and to share information relevant to America's hunters and recreational anglers and shooters. We encourage you to continue your involvement in the sportsmen's community by attending this year's Summit.
Sponsorship and hosting opportunities are still available for this year's Summit. For more information contact Jennifer Lundy at [email protected]
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009. Throughout this time, CSF has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted hunting and fishing organization in the political arena. Visit: www.sportsmenslink.org