On May 8, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2591, the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2017, on unanimous consent.
This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Vice-Chair Congressman Austin Scott (GA), along with CSC Co-Chairs Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and Gene Green (TX), and fellow CSC Vice-Chair Congressman Marc Veasey (TX).
This bill would increase flexibility for state wildlife agencies by allowing the use of Pittman-Robertson (P-R) funds for the recruitment of hunters and recreational shooters. This added flexibility is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of revenue sources that fund state-based fish and wildlife conservation across the country.
Without establishing new taxes or fees, H.R. 2591 would expand the Multistate Conservation Grant Program by providing an additional $5 million annually from archery-related excise taxes. This legislation would also place a cap on the amount of funds that can be spent on hunter and recreational shooter recruitment to ensure wildlife conservation remains the primary focus of P-R funds.
“I am very pleased the Committee favorably passed my PR modernization bill, and I will keep pressing until our decades-old wildlife conservation funding receives the critical updates it deserves,” said Rep. Scott.
“We applaud Congressman Austin Scott for introducing and leading the House bill as well as the House Natural Resources Committee for passing this non-controversial, common sense legislation,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane.
H.R. 2591 awaits to be scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
The Senate companion bill, S. 1613, awaits to be scheduled for a hearing in the Environment and Public Works Committee.
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?