The bipartisan Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (H.R. 2919) passed the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on February 5. This bill would benefit sportsmen and women by eliminating needless litigation that impedes the work of federal natural resources agencies.
Introduced in August 2013 by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) member Rep. Cynthia Lummis, H.R. 2919 amends the Equal Access to Justice Act by requiring an annual report and public online database that provides a description of the claims in each case, the litigants that received reimbursement of legal fees and the amounts, and the basis for the ruling against the federal agency.
In September 2013, 28 sportsmen’s conservation organizations, including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), sent a letter to members of Congress seeking support for H.R. 2919, as a “bipartisan bill on a longstanding issue of controversy: environmental litigation.”
Reports from the Government Accounting Office show that little to no records can substantiate even the basic facts behind litigation. A report by the Inspector General of the Department of Interior found that litigation on the issue of endangered species is “driving nearly everything” in that arena.
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?