Chambliss, Isakson Introduce Measure to Protect Hunting on Public Lands
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today announced they have introduced the Hunting Heritage Protection Act, which aims to recognize the heritage of hunting and provide opportunities for continued hunting on federal public land. The Senators are members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.
"This legislation simply seeks to protect the rights of sportsmen to hunt on federal public lands all across America," said Sen. Chambliss. "Hunting is truly an American tradition and a key component to our conservation and wildlife management practices. By maintaining designated levels of federal land for hunting, we are affording thousands of men, women, boys and girls the opportunity to enjoy this great American pastime."
"This legislation will help preserve the rights of hunters on federal public lands," Sen. Isakson said. "Hunting is a national pastime celebrated by millions of Americans, and it is our duty to protect sportsmen's access to public lands."
Specifically, the measure would require federal lands, to the maximum extent practicable, to be managed in a way that supports, promotes and enhances hunting opportunities. The bill also calls on federal agencies managing federal lands to submit an annual report to Congress describing any limitation of access for hunting on federal lands. Additionally, agencies would be required to submit prior written notification to Congress before any limitation affecting access to hunting on 5,000 acres or more becomes effective.
Over 13 million Americans participate in hunting activities in the United States today. Hunting is also an environmentally beneficial activity and is an essential component of effective wildlife management. U.S. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are also cosponsors of the legislation.