U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today introduced bipartisan legislation, entitled the Sportsmen's Act, to recognize and ensure the rightful place of hunting and fishing on our nation's public lands.
"This legislative package includes a broad array of bipartisan measures that will improve access for sportsmen and women across our nation," Murkowski said. "I've worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders to put together a reasonable, meaningful, and comprehensive bill."
"When crafting this legislation, I also worked closely with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to ensure that priorities from both chambers were included," Murkowski said. "The result is a streamlined package that strikes a careful balance in order to give this bill the best possible chance of being signed into law. I am very hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in advancing the Sportsmen's Act."
Access to public lands is the number one issue for America's sportsmen and women. Finding places to recreate and the loss of access are the top reason people stop hunting and fishing. In 2003, a Department of the Interior report to Congress found that 35 million acres of public land had inadequate access for sportsmen and women.
Among the provisions in the package:
- The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, which protects the public's right to engage in recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on federal land.
- The Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act, which enables the Secretary of the Interior to authorize any state to issue electronic duck stamps.
- The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which excludes ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act and leaves decisions about tackle to state fish and game agencies and the USFWS.
- Bows Transported through National Parks, which allows bows to be transported across national park lands. Currently, firearms can be legally transported, but not bows.