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House Approves Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Package
Measure Protects Hunting & Fishing Rights on Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2014 - Today, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3590, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act by a bipartisan vote of 268-154. This bipartisan package of bills protects the traditional rights of American sportsmen to fish and hunt, removes government roadblocks and red tape, and promotes American job creation and economic growth by supporting recreational opportunities on these federal lands.

"This legislation ensures that Americans’ ability to fish and hunt will not be arbitrarily subject to limitation by the whim of federal bureaucrats. It also makes clear that public lands are ‘open until closed’ to such recreational activities, and it absolutely makes clear that President Obama’s activist EPA does not have the authority to regulate ammunition and fishing tackle,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “Hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting are long-standing American traditions that deserve protection, which is exactly what this bill provides. This important legislation is not a solution in search of a problem, but a necessary response to bureaucratic threats to fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting that are very real.”

This bipartisan package of bills is cosponsored by the Republican and Democrat Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Bob Latta of Ohio and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, and Caucus Vice-Chairs, Rob Wittman of Virginia and Tim Walz of Minnesota. It is also endorsed by 36 sportsmen’s organizations.

Specifically, H.R. 3590, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act:

  • Clearly reaffirms that fishing, hunting, and shooting are important and traditional activities that should continue on public lands.Protects sportsmen from arbitrary efforts by the federal government to block public lands from hunting and fishing activities by implementing an “open until closed” management policy.

  • Clarifies the law to prevent anti-hunting nuisance suits that tie up conservation funds in paperwork.

  • Establishes a Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee.

  • Allows sportsmen across the country to more easily obtain a federal duck stamp by making them available for purchase online.

  • Adjusts funding limitations to make more funds available to states, for a longer period of time, for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges.

  • Protects law-abiding individuals’ constitutional right to bear arms on lands owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Protects the use of traditional ammunition and fishing tackle by reiterating and clarifying existing law to clearly limit EPA’s authority.

  • Eliminates government red tape for the importation of specific, legal hunting trophies.

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