Sportsmen Commend Senate Advancement of Key Legislation

Senate committee votes today to advance Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, paving way forward for bill funding conservation, public access, other priority programs

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Washington, DC -( Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today commended a Senate committee’s vote to advance a comprehensive package of sportsman and conservation focused bills, S. 659, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which includes numerous measures important to sportsmen’s access, public lands management and federal conservation funding.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee met this morning to consider the legislation, originally introduced in the Senate in February 2015 by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Martin Heinrich along with leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and numerous bipartisan cosponsors. Following its introduction, the package of bills was bifurcated into two separate pieces for committee markups.

In November, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced S. 556, which includes components of the legislative package that fall under its jurisdiction. This morning’s vote by the EPW Committee opens a path forward for full consideration and voting on both pieces together on the Senate floor.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney praised the committee vote and urged House and Senate lawmakers to prioritize the bill’s passage.

“Today’s Senate hearing represents the next, important step in advancing legislation that addresses the priorities and values of American sportsmen and women,” said Tawney, “and it offers a welcome response to calls from hunters and anglers, who for years have urged Congress to act on comprehensive sportsmen’s legislation.”

“Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski and her colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee deserve recognition for their leadership in passing their portion of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in November,” Tawney continued. “We applaud our allies in the Environment and Public Works Committee for doing the same and paving the way for this important legislative package to move out of the Senate and one step closer to the president’s desk.”

Priority components for BHA in the EPW Committee markup include reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, or NAWCA, and creating new access to public shooting ranges for target practice, marksmanship training and hunter education and safety programs.

BHA also extended thanks to Sens. Mike Crapo and Ben Cardin and their committee colleagues for including in the package the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, reauthorization of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, and reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which provide critical resources for the conservation of fish and wildlife habitat.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. 

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Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is The Sportsman’s Voice for Our Wild Public Lands, Waters and Wildlife.

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