Today, the U.S. House of Representatives considered H.R. 4089, the SportsmenвЂ™s Heritage Act of 2012.В The legislation helps protect hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on our nationвЂ™s public lands from special interest groups looking to impose new restrictions aimed at limiting such activities. To watch video of his speech, click here.
вЂњThis legislation importantly preserves the rights of hunters, fishers and recreational shooters and ensures that they continue to have the opportunity to access our nationвЂ™s public lands.В В Radical special interest groups have been working feverishly to impose new restrictions that limit a host of recreational activities on public lands.В They have co-opted the Environmental Protection Agency as their vehicle to implement these wrongheaded policies, making legislation such as the SportsmenвЂ™s Heritage Act necessary to thwart their short-sided efforts.В I am pleased that this bill passed in the House and hope that common sense prevails and the Senate considers this legislation as well.В While theyвЂ™re at it, I hope they will also consider taking up the budget, but IвЂ™m certainly not going to hold my breath,вЂќ said Congressman Bishop.
During debate on the floor of the House over the measure, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) delivered remarks in support of the legislation.В Congressman Bishop is a member of both the powerful House Rules Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee where he currently serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Specifically, the SportsmenвЂ™s Heritage Act requires federal public land management officials to use their authority to facilitate access to federal lands and waters for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting.В Under the legislation, exceptions to limit access can be made for reasons of national security, public safety, or resource conservation. In addition, access could be limited because of any federal statutes that specifically preclude these uses on federal land or by any discretionary limitations on recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting determined to be вЂњnecessary and reasonable.вЂќ
In summary, H.R. 4089 will:
вЂўВ В В require hunting, recreational shooting,В and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands
вЂўВ В В protect recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management
вЂўВ В В amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow hunters who legally harvested polar bears in Canada prior to its listing under the Endangered Species Act to purchase permits in order to transport their trophies into the U.S.
вЂўВ В В clarify that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the jurisdiction to regulate traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle
вЂўВ В В ensure that no new national monuments could be established unilaterally by the President through executive fiat unless the states offer their full support
In addition to the Congressional SportsmenвЂ™sвЂ™ foundation, a coalition of 38 sportsmen’s organizations has expressed their support for the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act.