This week public land sportsmen and Senator, Martin Heinrich (D-NM), reintroduced legislation called the HUNT Act, which would dedicate a portion of Land & Water Conservation Funding to unlocking landlocked public land and provide hunting and fishing access to the lands we all own, but cannot use.
The following testimony in support of this legislation was submitted on behalf of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance and the National Wildlife Federation.
Each year, America’s 40 million hunters and anglers contribute $200 billion to the national economy, and support millions of American jobs. Hunting and fishing aren’t mere pastimes, they are lifestyles; lifestyles that depend fundamentally on access to quality fish and wildlife habitat. For many hunters, including 72% of all hunters in the Mountain West and Pacific states, access means public lands. Without reliable access to quality habitat, sportsmen reduce their days afield and reduce their economic impact. For small towns across the country, fewer sportsmen mean fewer customers, fewer jobs, and a lower quality of life. Of course, it is no mystery why sportsmen and women stay home: the single most prevalent reason hunters and anglers stop hunting and fishing is lack of access.
Last week, sportsmen gathered in Washington DC with Western elected officials to discuss the importance of the Land & Water Conservation Fund for public land conservation, hunting and fishing access and the outdoor economy. The following is a short video of highlights from this event.
One of the most important things to consider when in the woods is water. Learn how to find good, clean, pathogen free water, as well as treatment options when the only water you can find is questionable.
The Sportsman Channel’s Randy Newberg Notes, “LWCF has been a Great Tool for Securing Places to Hunt and Fish for Sportsmen”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) joined Randy Newberg, host of The Sportsman Channel’s “Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg,” to discuss the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to sportsmen. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) served as a host of the event. Co-sponsored by the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation, the event showcased several projects that have benefitted from the use of Land and Water Conservation Funds for public access to hunting and fishing.
Created by Congress 50 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund uses revenues from oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) – instead of taxpayer dollars – to conserve important natural resources. Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of the most successful federal conservation endeavors – protecting American history and heritage, as well as conserving public land and clean water for recreation and wildlife habitat, and supporting the hunting, fishing and larger $646-billion outdoor recreation economy.
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A radical cry to wrest our national forests and Bureau of Land Management land away from public ownership is being heard throughout the West. That cry should alarm all Americans who cherish their freedom to hunt and fish.
The American people own 450 million acres of national forest, rangeland, wildlife refuges and national parks. Some of these lands are famous while others are obscure "secret spots." They include trout streams, elk pastures, duck marshes and huckleberry patches. Our federal land system and outdoor heritage is the envy of the world and depends on keeping federal public lands out of state ownership.
Last month, 60 elected officials from nine western states met in Utah to hear a lawyer’s twisted argument that our federal public lands birthright is somehow unconstitutional.