Background on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014

With the clock ticking down on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, take the opportunity to learn more about the legislation. Then, give your Senators a call to voice your support for the package. 

Image by Dusan Smetana.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 2363) is an historic piece of legislation that features some of the most important measures to benefit America’s 40 million sportsmen in years. The bill includes a number of provisions to expand public access and conserve fish and wildlife habitat for generations. S.2363 enjoys the support of many major hunting and angling organizations across the country. That support has been matched by a bipartisan cosponsor list of 45 Senators.

America’s hunters and anglers, who annually contribute $200 billion to the national economy and continue to play a vital role in the promotion of sustainable land use, deserve equal footing with other multiple uses on federal lands.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act includes the following 14 provisions:

  • Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013 (S.738), authorizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow any state to provide federal duck stamps electronically.
  • Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S.1505), exempts lead fishing tackle from being regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (S.1212), enabling states to allocate a greater proportion of federal funding to create and maintain shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands
  • Duck Stamp Subsistence Waiver, granting the Secretary of the Interior the authority to make limited waivers of Duck Stamp requirements for certain subsistence users
  • Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act (S.847), permitting the Secretary of the Interior to authorize permits for re-importation of previously legally harvested Polar Bears from approved populations in Canada before the 2008 ban
  • Farmer and Hunter Protection Act, authorizing USDA extension offices to determine normal agricultural practices rather than the Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act (S.170), requiring federal land managers to consider how management plans affect opportunities to engage in hunting, fishing and recreational shooting and requiring the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to keep BLM lands open to these activities.
  • Permits for Film Crews of Five People or Less, directing the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees for filming on federal lands
  • Making Public Lands Public, requires that 1.5 percent of annual Land and Water Conservation Fund monies be made available to secure public access to existing federal lands that have restricted access to hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.

    Image by Dusan Smetana.

  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization (S.741), provides matching grants to organizations, state and local governments, and private landowners for the acquisition, restoration, and enhancement of wetlands habitat critical to migratory birds.
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization, reauthorizing NFWF, a nonprofit that conserves and restores native wildlife species and habitats.
  • Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, enabling states to allocate a greater proportion of federal funding to create and maintain shooting ranges.
  • Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization, enabling the Bureau of Land Management to disburse public lands to private entities, county governments, and others for the purposes of ranching, public works, and related projects and invest the revenue received to obtain additional conservation  lands.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act is at a critical crossroads. Pick up the phone and let your Senators know that you support the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act today!

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Alex Schenck
Alex Schenck is TRCP’s Government Relations Associate in our Washington, DC office. He graduated from High Point University before moving to Washington to work on Capitol Hill where he spent a year working for the Senate and House of Representatives. Alex was TRCP’s Communications Associate for Marine Fisheries before making the transition to Government Relations.  Alex grew up in Charleston, SC in a family deeply-rooted in conservation initiatives worldwide. An avid hunter and fly fisherman, Alex is a passionate conservationist intent on protecting our natural world for future generations to enjoy.
Alex Schenck

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