CSF Weighs in on Hoosier State Legislation Impacting Access, Conservation

Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager

On January 29, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a letter in opposition for Senate Bill 266 (SB 266) and joined a letter of opposition for Senate Bill 373 (SB 373) in Indiana. If passed, both bills would have negative effects on sportsmen and women in the state.

SB 266, as written, would impose a $30 out-of-state user fee on every boat entering Indiana waters. If passed, Indiana would be the only state in the country to require temporary users to pay such a fee. The bill would also preclude boaters from participating in recreational activities while anchored, such as fishing, hunting, or swimming within 200-feet off shore. Doing so would eliminate the ability to fish in a large portion of the most productive lakes and largely prohibit duck hunting on state waters, as this activity typically occurs from or near the shoreline. Given the role that hunting, angling and boating play in support of conservation funding, it is important that we look for ways to enhance access for outdoor recreation rather than limit those opportunities through unnecessary and uninformed legislation.

SB 373 would create a carbon market in the Hoosier State with little or no consideration for the role that active forest management practices play in the sequestration of carbon. While CSF does not oppose the use of forests for carbon farming, the letter requested the legislation be deferred until a feasibility study can be conducted to determine the impact of the proposed carbon credit program on the economy, wildlife habitat, and existing forest management plans. A carbon credit program should be designed to meet carbon sequestration goals while simultaneously benefiting wildlife habitat, biodiversity, water quality, and market needs. CSF encourages the legislature to work with willing partners to identify the most appropriate approach to address issues related to climate change while carefully considering the perspectives of Indiana’s landowners and businesses who would be most directly impacted by a carbon credit program.

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