Last week, I voted for and helped pass important, bipartisan legislation that will help to preserve and promote our hunting, fishing, and sporting heritage here in Arkansas and across our country. This legislation, H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012, passed the House of Representatives and must now be considered by the Senate.
H.R. 4089 would require the Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service to provide access to certain federal lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. Additionally, it also amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to add ammunition and sport fishing equipment to the list of items that are exempted by TSCA. This limits the authority of the EPA to regulate bullets, angling lures and other hunting equipment with respect to toxic substances.
As an avid outdoorsman and co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, I am proud to have co-sponsored and helped pass H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012. The passage of this important legislation is crucial to the protection of America's outdoor traditions and the advancement of the rights of hunters and anglers across the nation. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and in Congress to promote and protect our sporting heritage.
Founded in 1989, the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus is one of the largest and most effective caucuses in the U.S. Congress with nearly 300 members representing almost all 50 states. With bipartisan leadership in both the House and the Senate, the Caucus is the sportsmen's ally and first line of defense in the nation's capital promoting and protecting the rights of hunters, trappers and anglers.
The Sportsmen's Heritage Act recognizes that recreational anglers and hunters have been and will continue to be among the foremost supporters of sound fish and wildlife management and conservation in the United States. Public lands have traditionally been used for recreational sporting activities. Revenue from fishing and hunting licenses and excise taxes on fishing, hunting, and shooting equipment have generated billions of dollars that fund fish and wildlife conservation, research, and management. In order to continue this revenue stream, sportsmen must have access to these areas.
Outdoor activities like hunting and fishing are an important part of our heritage and way of life, especially in our state. I firmly believe this important tradition must be preserved and promoted. Requiring the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting will allow sportsmen the opportunity to pursue their passions as well as maintain funding for critical conservation activities. It will also benefit the tourism industry and be an economic boon in areas where public lands are open to sporting activities.
In addition to leading the Sportsmen's Caucus, I'm also proud to serve as Co-Chair of the Second Amendment Task Force, standing up and fighting for our Second Amendment rights. As your Congressman and as a life member of the National Rifle Association, I am leading the fight to oppose any and all efforts in Washington that restrict our right to own and bear arms.
I will continue standing up for the rights of hunters and outdoorsmen. Above everything else, outdoor activities instill values into our lives and our children: teamwork, patience, preparation, respect, honesty and humility in that we are just a small part of God's great earth. As your U.S. Congressman, I will do all I can to ensure this important tradition is preserved and passed down to future generations.