Bipartisan Senate Coalition Introduces Sportsmen’s Bill

A bipartisan group of senators introduced the ‘‘Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation for Wildlife Act’’ (HELP for Wildlife Act)

06-30-2017 // Casey Skeens
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the ‘‘Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation for Wildlife Act’’ (HELP for Wildlife Act) that would expand access for sportsmen throughout the U.S. while also enhancing provisions that will conserve wildlife habitat. The National Wildlife Federation applauds Senators Barrasso, Cardin, Boozman, Klobuchar, Capito, and Baldwin for working together to move a bill forward that will help wildlife and sportsmen alike.

“The bipartisan sportsmen’s bill will advance key priorities of sportsmen and women, including important wildlife conservation programs,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. “The National Wildlife Federation’s membership includes millions of sportsmen and sportswomen among our 51 state and territorial affiliates. While other bipartisan sportsmen bills have come close to passage in recent years, this bill, led by Chairman Barrasso and Senators Cardin, Boozman, Klobuchar, Capito, and Baldwin, represents a great bipartisan effort to conserve America’s outdoor heritage for hunters, anglers, campers, hikers, and wildlife enthusiasts, while helping to restore America’s wildlife populations. By protecting and bolstering our outdoor heritage, we can help recover America’s wildlife and empower the next generation of conservation champions.”

Over the past few years, other bipartisan sportsmen bills have been introduced in Congress but none have been signed into law. Some of the provisions that the bill contains include:

• Target Practice and Marksmanship – facilitates the construction and expansion of public target ranges, including ranges on land managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
• Baiting of Migratory Game Birds – prohibits baiting of migratory game birds, except in the case of normal agricultural practices.
• North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) reauthorization – provides matching grants to organizations, states and local governments, and private land owners for the acquisition, restoration, and enhancement of wetlands critical to migratory birds.
• National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) reauthorization – funds urgent conservation needs with matching private funds.
• Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act reauthorization – supports programs that conserve birds which summer in United States and spend the winter months in the Tropics.
• Delisting Great Lakes and Wyoming Wolves – reissues final December 2011 rule to delist the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and the final September 2012 rule to delist the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act.
• Chesapeake Bay Program and Chesapeake Bay Initiative reauthorization – provides funds for a regional partnership coordinating the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed as well as for technical assistance focusing on conservation stewardship through the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network.
• National Fish Habitat Conservation Act – enacts programs to conserve fish and fish habitat through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and enhance fish and wildlife-dependent recreation.
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