On October 5, thirty-four of the nation’s leading hunting, angling and conservation organizations sent a letter to Senate and House Energy bill (S. 2012) conferees in strong support of including important provisions from the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act (S. 405) and Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (H.R. 2406) in final conferenced energy legislation. The 47 bipartisan conferees from the Senate and House include 34 members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC).
S. 405, introduced by CSC Members Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK), Martin Heinrich (NM), and Senate CSC leadership, expands access to and opportunities for hunting and angling and promotes wildlife and habitat conservation. On April 20, the Senate adopted many of the provisions within the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act with a vote of 97 – 0 under the Natural Resources Title of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012). The House followed suit by adding its version of comprehensive sportsmen’s legislation, H.R. 2406, to S. 2012.
The SHARE Act, introduced by the bipartisan House CSC leadership, includes provisions such as: the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act; the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act; Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act; the Farmer and Hunter Protection Act; the permanent creation of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee; and the Preserving Public Access to Public Water Act, among others.
The inclusion of these provisions in the final conferenced energy legislation between the House and Senate Committees, and ultimately signing them into law, is crucial to the traditions of sportsmen and women across the country as well as fish and wildlife conservation for the future.
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?