Bipartisan Sportsman Act "A Clear Win"
Today, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a mark-up on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, commended the committee for advancing the bill in a statement:
"The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act is a clear win for wildlife and the national economy. It increases public access to public land—a benefit for everyone from hunters and anglers to paddlers and birdwatchers. This bill also reauthorizes programs to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitats on these lands.
"We are particularly pleased to see that this bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. For decades, Congress after Congress has failed to fully fund this important program and in September the current Congress unconscionably allowed the program's authorization to lapse entirely. Permanent reauthorization is a victory for all outdoor enthusiasts and a boost to the outdoor recreation economy."
Key Provisions of the Bipartisan Sportsman Act:
- Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation, providing funding to local communities, states, and federal agencies to acquire high value properties for public use
- Reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction and Facilitation Act (FLTFA), allowing public agencies to work with willing landowners to secure critical in-holdings for conservation and access through “land-for-land” swaps.
- A provision that ensures that all federal public land management agencies to identify high priority federal lands where hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are permitted but where access is non-existent or significantly restricted.
- A provision allowing states to allocate a greater proportion of federal funding to construct and maintain public shooting ranges on federal lands.