U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) today offered his bill, H.R. 1444 as an amendment to H.R. 2834, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act during today's Natural Resources Committee legislative markup. Broun's amendment -- which would require hunting activities to be considered as a land use in management plans for all federal land -- was passed unanimously and H.R. 2834 was successfully approved by the Committee.
"Expanding hunting opportunities on federal land would be a win for both our hunters and anglers as well as for our economy," said Rep. Broun, an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and lifelong member of the Safari Club International, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association. 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 amendment 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 their support to both my amendment and to H.R. 2834 as a whole."