WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the four House leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Reps. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Gene Green (D-Texas), and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), introduced the bipartisan “Sportsmen’s Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act,” or SCORE Act, in the 114th Congress. Combined with the previously introduced SHARE Act (HR 2406), these bills constitute a major victory for fish and wildlife habitat, and improved access for America’s hunters and anglers.
Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.), all past chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, are also supporting SCORE.
“The sportsmen’s community can stand squarely behind this bill as a great step forward in protecting our ability to fund and implement the conservation of at-risk habitats, species, and access,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “It’s a great example of bipartisan legislation that addresses the needs of America’s hunters and anglers, and we’d like to see a lot more of that consensus.”
The bill contains seven provisions to reauthorize or implement legislation that helps fund conservation programs on federal and private lands, which boosts sportsmen’s access to quality hunting and fishing, including reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). Prior to its expiration in 2011, FLTFA had leveraged strategic federal land sales to fund 39 priority conservation projects, including many that expanded sportsmen’s access to world-class hunting and fishing opportunities.
WASHINGTON – A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand hunting and angling opportunities on 21 national wildlife refuges across the country drew praise from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which works on increasing sportsmen’s access to places to hunt and fish, particularly on publicly owned lands.
USFWS Director Dan Ashe announced the proposal, which was published in the Federal Register today and which would modify existing regulations for more than 100 other refuges and federal wetland management districts. Sportsmen welcomed the good news.
“I’ve hunted waterfowl my entire life on national wildlife refuges that have been funded almost exclusively by sportsmen’s dollars,” said BHA Executive Director Land Tawney. “Refuges are just that: places that provide much-needed solitude and challenge our members crave. Access and opportunity are critical to Americans’ continued ability to enjoy our time-honored traditions of hunting and fishing, and likewise they are central to the mission of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers welcomes Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell’s announcement of landscape level greater sage-grouse plans for Bureau of Land Management lands in 11 Western states.
Built upon years of historic collaboration between state governors and wildlife management agencies, public land management agencies, sportsmen, ranchers, energy companies and other key stakeholders, these tailored plans set a new standard for meaningful conservation on lands that support the majority of the birds’ habitat.
By addressing the needs of sportsmen, ranchers, and businesses, these conservation plans will sustain the resource and provide greater certainty to multiple uses like energy development while balancing the need to safeguard important wildlife habitat.
The following video highlights some of BHA’s ground efforts for sage-grouse:
WASHINGTON - A highly anticipated rule that would enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat, improve the nation's supply of drinking water and restore clarity to the federal Clean Water Act was finalized this morning, eliciting praise from business owners and sportsmen's groups, including Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
Today's announcement by the administration concludes a multi-stakeholder process aimed at eliminating confusion surrounding the scope of the Clean Water Act. The resulting "Waters of the U.S." rule reflects a lengthy and comprehensive vetting process, including more than 1 million public comments. Widely supported by citizens, sportsmen and outdoor-focused businesses, it represents a practical approach that addresses the needs of both industry and the general populace.