Sportsmen’s Act Stalls in Congress

Sportsmen frustrated at bill’s failure to advance in Congress, urge Senate to reach agreement before lame duck session ends.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

WASHINGTON –-( The Senate’s inability to advance the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525), a wide-ranging package of legislative provisions that facilitates public access for hunting and angling, habitat conservation and robustly funded natural resource management, is drawing criticism from the bill’s proponents.

A broad spectrum of sportsmen’s and conservation groups, including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, supports the legislation, and the TRCP today urged the Senate to chart a course for its passage before the lame duck session ends.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to Senator Reid, for his leadership in trying to find a path forward for this bill, and to Senator Tester, who introduced it in the Senate last summer and has championed it since,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh.

“We remain enormously frustrated, however, by the Senate’s failure to advance the Sportsmen’s Act, despite its popularity among citizens as well as widespread support within the Senate,” added Vaughn Collins, TRCP director of government affairs, “and we frankly are still in shock over last Monday’s procedural vote, which went down 50 to 44, despite needing only 60 votes to pass.”

This bipartisan bill has on two occasions received close to unanimous Senate votes – 84 and 92 – supporting its passage.

“The Sportsmen’s Act is one of the most significant pieces of legislation this generation for hunters and anglers, for conservation and for responsive natural resource management,” Fosburgh stated. “Sportsmen have joined in supporting this bill since its introduction, and we now unite in urging Congress to expedite its passage into law before the end of the lame duck session.”

S. 3525 integrates more than 20 bills, including the Making Public Lands Public Access Act, the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act and the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. It also would reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.