Why it Matters: Lack of access is often cited as the number one reason sportsmen and women no longer participate in our time-honored traditions of hunting and fishing. Access is not only defined as geographic access or physical access, but it is also the ability to know where, when, and how sportsmen and women can enjoy their respective activities.
- On Tuesday, November 14, Taylor Schmitz, Director, Federal Relations, for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is scheduled to testify before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries on R. 6127, the Modernizing Access to Our Public Waters (MAPWaters) Act.
- This bipartisan legislation is led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Rep. Blake Moore and complements the CSF supported MAPLand Act, also led by Rep. Moore, that was signed into law last
- The MAPWaters Act will require certain federal land and water management agencies within the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to digitize their respective public water mapping information.
- This legislation will enhance and simplify access for sportsmen and women as well as other recreationists who will utilize public waters managed by the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture.
On Tuesday, November 14, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the MAPWaters Act, and Taylor Schmitz of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is scheduled to testify in support of this bill on behalf of our nation’s sportsmen and women.
Specifically, the MAPWaters Act, led by CSC Member Rep. Blake Moore, requires the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service to modernize and digitize their public water mapping information. This legislation will help sportsmen and women to know not only where they can access rivers and water bodies, but also understand regulations on things such as waterways that are open or closed to certain types of watercrafts, horsepower restrictions, aquatic invasive species inspection requirements, or what baits or lures are allowed for fishing, among others.
During the hearing, CSF will testify on the importance of this bill to not only increase access, but also to improve and simplify recreational opportunities for America’s nearly 55 million sportsmen and women. CSF looks forward to working with Rep. Moore and the House Natural Resources Committee to modernize the way in which sportsmen and women navigate public waters.