BHA Federal Policy Update: Week of Feb. 5

House Passes WILD Act

The House of Representatives voted to pass the WILD Act (H.R. 5900), led by Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) on Monday under Suspension of the Rules. Supported by BHA, this legislation would reauthorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program through the 2028 Fiscal Year.

In the last three decades, more than 6 million acres of private lands have been voluntarily conserved through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. This program provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and other entities interested in improving wildlife habitat.

Suspension of the Rules is a procedure to streamline the legislative process and expeditiously move bills with significant bipartisan support. This process limits debate on the House floor, prohibits amendments, and requires a two-thirds majority vote.

Owyhee Canyonlands

Last week, BHA participated in a fly-in with our partners at Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation to discuss the importance of the Owyhee Canyonlands with members of Congress and the Biden administration. BHA has long supported permanent conservation of more than one million acres of public lands in the Owyhee Canyonlands of southeastern Oregon.

Legislation led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Malheur CEO Act (S. 1890), was advanced out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last December. BHA has been a part of a wide coalition supporting this bill which would designate more than one million acres of wilderness in the Owyhee Canyonlands while maintaining public access. It would also establish a group tasked with developing consensus-based decisions regarding the region's management, including a representative for sportsmen and women.  

Meaningful conservation for this landscape is long overdue and ensuring that occurs is a high priority for BHA as we continue to seek the best opportunity to do so. In addition to supporting the Malheur CEO Act, BHA is encouraging the Biden administration to use their authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument if Congress is unable to pass legislation to conserve the region’s unique fish and wildlife values. BHA has developed a report, in cooperation with partner organizations and businesses that outlines key tenets for hunters and anglers to support national monument designations.

Read BHA’s press release here.

Take action here to support the Owyhee Canyonlands.

About Kaden McArthur

A western hunter and angler, my passion for wild places and wildlife brought me to Washington, DC to work on conservation policy.

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