Why it matters: FLTFA helps advance local community, conservation, and recreation needs by addressing land ownership patterns that can cause problems for landowners, sportsmen and women, and public land managers. Now, officially reestablished, the FLTFA program will help increase access opportunities for sportsmen and women across the West.
Earlier this year, the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Serviced signed an agreement to implement the reauthorized Federal Lands Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA), a long-standing priority for CSF. In 2018, CSF worked with our partners to secure reauthorization of the Federal Lands Transaction Facilitation Act as part of the FY2018 Omnibus appropriations bill, delivering a significant win to sportsmen and women.
FLTFA is a modified land exchange program that facilitates strategic federal land sales by federal land management agencies to provide funding for high-priority conservation in the Western United States. Part of the FLTFA provision within the Omnibus also increases access for sportsmen and outdoor recreation. The “Inaccessible Lands Open to Public Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Shooting, or Other Recreational Purposes,” provision within FLTFA allows the Bureau of Land Management to acquire additional lands to increase public access in places where it does not currently exist.
In addition, federal agencies are required to consider the “Extent to which the acquisition of the land or interest therein will increase the public availability of resources for, and facilitate public access to hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities” when prioritizing land acquisitions under FLTFA. Federal agencies also have expanded authorities to pursue strategic acquisitions adjacent to National Forest System lands and consider priority habitats when evaluating a potential acquisition.
“FLTFA is a common-sense, bipartisan solution that will improve public land access for America’s sportsmen and women,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President and CEO Jeff Crane. “CSF was proud to work with members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to improve FLTFA by making U.S. Forest Service access projects eligible for the program as part of our larger goal of ‘Making Public Lands Public.’ We applaud the agencies for taking this important step.
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?