U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) made the following statement after the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands of the Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on his bill, H.R. 1444:
"As an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and lifelong member of both Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, I am hopeful that H.R. 1444 will be enacted in efforts to expand access to hunting activities on federal lands. Nearly 16 million Americans actively participate in hunting every year -- contributing more than $30 billion to our economy and supporting more than 1 million jobs across our country.
"In Georgia, hunting and angling is a vital part of our state's livelihood. The industry provides jobs for as many Georgians as the two largest employers in the state combined, and our sportsmen spend more than $1.8 billion dollars on gear and equipment annually. Increasing access to hunting on federal lands is a simple way to create more jobs and give a boost to economies on both the state and national levels.
"Hunting is already permitted on most Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands, and it has not only proven to be a successful factor in regulating the overpopulation of certain species, but also a cost-efficient measure. My bill would require that hunting activities be considered as a land use in all management plans for all existing and future federal lands. I hope that my colleagues and hunting organizations across the nation will lend H.R. 1444 their support."