Last week, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and nearly 55 other top sporting-conservation organizations sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate in support of the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) and the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (H.R. 925).
The Great American Outdoors Act, led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Cory Gardner (CO), CSC Co-Chair Martin Heinrich (NM), CSC Vice-Chairs Joe Manchin (WV) and John Boozman (AR), along with 55 other bipartisan Senators, will provide $9.5 billion over a period of 5 years to address the deferred maintenance backlog on federal public lands and waters, which totals nearly $20 billion.
S.3422 is set to receive floor time in the Senate in the coming weeks – marking a significant victory for sportsmen and women. Of the $9.5 billion provided under S. 3422, roughly $3 billion will be set aside to restore infrastructure on lands and waters that are most important to sportsmen and women. Furthermore, S. 3422 also provides permanent and dedicated funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually. In summary, the Great American Outdoors Act is the single greatest contribution to sportsmen and women, and conservation in a lifetime.
H.R. 925, the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, includes a number of priority provisions for CSF. Priorities contained in the ACE Act include the establishment of a task force within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, a five-year reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, exemption of lead fishing tackle from the unwarranted purview of the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, among others. H.R. 925 passed the Senate unanimously in January and awaits further action in the House.
CSF is actively working to secure successful passage of S. 3422 out of the Senate on a strong bipartisan vote. Additionally, CSF is working to urge the House to send H.R. 925 to the President’s desk so it can be signed into law as soon as possible.
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?