September 26, 2013 (Washington, DC) – In a significant advancement for sportsmen and women across the country, the bipartisan House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) introduced the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013. Known as H.R. 3197, this legislative package includes various pro-sportsmen’s bills that will help ensure our outdoor traditions are protected and advanced, and addresses some of the most current concerns of American hunters and recreational anglers and shooters. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in a decade, the passage of the SHARE Act would be a legislative milestone for the sportsmen’s community.
CSC Co-Chairs, Representatives Bob Latta and Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chairs, Representatives Rob Wittman and Tim Walz, introduced the SHARE Act as a bipartisan package of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in an effort to continue to safeguard and promote America’s hunting and fishing traditions.
“This bipartisan legislative package is an important advancement for the outdoor sporting community, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward and to promote the values and traditions that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy in the United States,” stated Co-Chair, Rep. Bob Latta.
Co-Chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, praised the CSC leadership for their efforts in getting this legislation to the House floor. “Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus introduced meaningful legislation that promotes the interest of hunters and anglers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to advance this legislation.”
Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), emphasized bipartisan cooperation in advancing the SHARE Act in the 113th Congress. “I thank the bipartisan leadership of the CSC for their efforts in introducing this vital legislation. In July, a sportsmen’s package was the topic of CSF’s breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill, where many sportsmen-legislators voiced their support.”
Some of these priorities that this legislation addresses includes: protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle by American hunters and anglers, the potential increase of more Pittman-Robertson funds for shooting ranges, the permanent authorization of the electronic duck stamp, the importation of polar bear carcasses legally harvested in Canada before 2008, authorizing the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement a new fishery management plan that will ensure the long-term conservation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and helps facilitate the use of and access to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting. It also prohibits the enforcement of individual firearm regulations at water resources development projects administered by the Corps of Engineers, and prohibits additional fees for commercial filming on federal lands and waterways.
This legislation will also permanently establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting and recreational shooting.
Vice-Chair, Rep. Tim Walz, stated, “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, historic legislation that will protect and advance our American outdoor heritage for generations to come.”
Vice-Chair, Rep. Rob Wittman also voiced his support for the SHARE Act. “As a sportsman, I am humbled to advocate for this community and help introduce this legislation to advance priorities of American anglers, hunters and conservationists. This common sense package will expand opportunities for recreation, support fair treatment and modernize programs for sportsmen, and includes a proposal I authored to allow migratory waterfowl hunters to purchase their annual Federal duck stamp online,” Rep. Wittman stated.
CSF will continue to keep you apprised as this legislation continues to move through Congress. For more information on CSF, click here.
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?