October 30, 2020 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, the 116th Congress was solidified as one of the most productive for conservation and sportsmen and women in a lifetime with the enactment of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act (S. 3051) which is now federal law.
The ACE Act, which was led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Senators John Barrasso and Tom Carper and cosponsored by CSC Leaders Senators Martin Heinrich and John Boozman, passed both chambers of Congress on voice votes, a sign of the strong bipartisan support for this legislation. The ACE Act contains nearly a dozen provisions including a number of long-standing priorities for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) in particular, such as reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, protection of lead fishing tackle for a period of 5 years, Congressional authorization of the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the establishment of a task force within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, and reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program, among others.
The ACE Act adds to the momentum generated earlier this Congress with the passage and enactment of the Dingell Act, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act, and most recently the historic Great American Outdoors Act. Additionally, the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742), a top priority for sportsmen and women passed the U.S. House in July.
The culmination of these legislative victories during a time in which polarized politics appear to dominate makes this Congress remarkably unique in its ability to bring both sides of the aisle together to support conservation investments that recognize the importance of America’s sportsmen and women.
The near-universal support for the conservation victories throughout the 116th Congress is in large part due to the efforts of the bipartisan CSC as well as strong support from CSF.
“The enactment of these monumental victories is a direct result of the efforts and leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus leaders and members in the 116th Congress, who have worked tirelessly to advance generational pieces of legislation to benefit sportsmen and women across the nation,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “Collectively, the policies enacted during this Congress will increase access to public lands that hunters and anglers use most and enhance our nation’s natural resources for generations to come.”
CSF has been actively engaged in the enactment of each one of these pro-sporting legislative victories throughout the 116th Congress by working with members of the CSC and partners in the community, and will remain engaged to ensure these policies are implemented effectively and in a timely manner.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?