he U.S. House of Representative passed the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47). The bipartisan public lands package of bills that includes several key pieces of the Sportsmen’s Act passed the Senate on February 12, 2019, and is now awaiting the President’s signature to become law.
“Bipartisanship is a hallmark of the Club approach to its work in policy matters,” said Timothy C. Brady, president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “We are pleased with both the result and strong bipartisanship in reaching the result. This hard-won agreement helps wildlife and habitat by breaking impasses on tough issues such as federal public lands and litigation.”
The Natural Resources Management Act addresses several priorities for American hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and other public land users:
- Declares that federal lands are open to public recreation, except in limited circumstances;
- Directs the NPS, BLM, USFS, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to annually identify lands where sporting related activities are permitted, but where access is currently unavailable or restricted;
- Requires public reporting of reimbursements of legal fees on lawsuits against the government – a step toward reigning in litigation for the sake of litigation;
- Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund with 3% or $15 million of annual appropriations made available for the purpose of securing additional access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other outdoor related activities;
- Authorizes use of qualified volunteer hunters in programs to control wildlife populations in National Parks;
- Authorizes hunters to transport bows through national parks.
Of these critical steps forward, funding for public access is one the Club worked diligently on to have included, which is a straightforward benefit for sportsmen. Another addition that the Club believes was an imperative for inclusion that may be of a less obvious benefit is reporting on legal fees. Nonstop litigation against our expert agencies has been crippling the proven systems we have to properly manage wildlife and habitats.
Brady said, “We especially would like to thank House Chairman Rail Grijalva (D-NM), Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for getting this important legislation through the House.”
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.