On November 6, nearly 30 leading wildlife conservation organizations, including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), sent a letter to the House Natural Resources Committee in strong support of the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2591), which authorizes state fish and wildlife agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for hunter recruitment and retention efforts.
The letter requests that the Committee schedule a hearing on this legislation, a step needed before the bill can move to the House floor for a vote.
H.R. 2591 would define recruitment, retention and reactivation as it relates to hunters and recreational shooters, and remove existing statutory prohibitions against the use of Pittman-Robertson funds for these purposes. It also clarifies that these funds can be used for construction and maintenance of public shooting ranges.
Currently, the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Act, the Pittman-Robertson counterpart that uses excise taxes and license revenue generated by recreational angling to support conservation funding, allows funding to be used for recruitment and retention of new anglers and boaters.
H.R. 2591 will help address the reality that hunting participation is declining, and therefore threatening the funding for fish and wildlife conservation.
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- Lack of access to hunting areas (16.48%)
- Lack of a mentor or instructor to take them (29.50%)
- Age limit restrictions on when they can purchase a license (1.15%)
- Lack of time or competing interests (14.94%)
- Technology (social media, phones, computers) (18.39%)
- Perceived negative public or peer-group opinions (19.54%)