Senate legislation introduced last month includes measures expanding public access, conserving backcountry, bolstering fish and wildlife
Missoula, MT -(Ammoland.com)- Popular Senate legislation that would conserve important backcountry lands and waters, bolster fish and game populations and expand public access to hunting and fishing should be promptly introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and deserves rapid passage into law, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers announced today.
The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015, introduced in the U.S. Senate in February by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Martin Heinrich along with a host of bipartisan cosponsors, is a package of more than 20 sportsmen-focused bills that takes advantage of a new dynamic in a new Congress to advance issues of ongoing interest to hunters, anglers and shooters. The Senate bill has drawn widespread support from prominent sportsmen's groups, with BHA leading the charge in urging House members to introduce companion legislation
“The significance of this bill and its benefits to hunting, fishing and funding for fish and wildlife habitat are impossible to quantify,” said BHA Executive Director Land Tawney. “American sportsmen offer thanks to Senator Heinrich and Senator Murkowski for their leadership, and we urge their colleagues in the House to act swiftly in introducing and advancing this strong bipartisan package. Similar bills have failed to pass two previous Congresses, and now is the time to get this across the finish line.”
Components of the Senate bill of particular importance to BHA include the HUNT Act, which identifies and plans for opening access to landlocked public lands, and Making Public Lands Public, which would dedicate a percentage of Land and Water Conservation Fund monies to securing public access to existing federal lands. Measures reauthorizing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation also are strongly supported by BHA.
BHA members spoke up in support of the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act, commending the Senate's willingness to consider the legislation and spurring the House to follow suit.
“We'd like to thank our senator, Lisa Murkowski, and Senator Heinrich from New Mexico for sponsoring the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015,” said BHA Alaska Chapter Chairman Mark Richards. “This legislation protects our hunting, fishing and shooting heritage and activities on public lands and includes other measures our chapter has long supported, such as allowing the importation of legally harvested polar bear hides from Canada into the United States. We have worked with Congressman Don Young's office on that issue, and we hope the House will introduce companion legislation soon.”
“American hunters and anglers are fortunate to be able to count on our allies in Congress to promote legislation that represents our values and supports our outdoor traditions,” said Oscar Simpson, chairman of BHA's New Mexico chapter. “As a New Mexican, I am proud of the leadership that Senator Heinrich has showed in introducing the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act in the 114th Congress, and as a sportsman, I ask the House of Representatives to introduce and advance a companion bill without delay.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen's voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife
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About Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is built on a foundation laid down by conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, who understood that America's outdoor heritage depends on healthy ecosystems. BHA strives to lead by example both in the realm of land and water conservation and in the realm of ethical hunting and fishing.
For more information, please visit www.BackcountryHunters.org.