July 29, 2019

House Natural Resources Supports Bill to Balance Energy and Conservation

On July 25, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on H.R. 3794, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, a strong bipartisan bill introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ) and Congressman Mike Levin (CA).

The primary intent of H.R. 3794 is to increase renewable energy development on federal lands, however the legislation establishes a “Renewable Energy Resource Conservation Fund” to support on-the-ground conservation efforts.

This fund would provide discretion to the Secretary of the Interior to make available financial resources to Federal, State, and Tribal agencies where renewable energy projects are located to be used to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat, migration corridors, and other natural resources that are impacted by energy developments. In addition, funds could also be directed toward working with willing landowners to secure access to existing federal lands and waters where access does not currently exist, consistent with the Making Public Lands Public access initiative.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is supportive of the efforts by Rep. Gosar and Rep. Levin to balance the needs of energy demands with fish and wildlife conservation on public lands and waters.

The legislation now awaits further action in the Natural Resources 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?

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