As part of his ongoing effort to support Alaska's hunting and fishing enthusiasts, this week U.S. Senator Mark Begich co-sponsored the Sportsmen's and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditions (SPORT) package, which expands access to federal public lands for hunting and fishing, reauthorizes critical wildlife habitat programs, and reforms existing laws and regulations that keep people from enjoying the outdoors.
"In Alaska, hunting and fishing are central to our way of life," said Sen. Begich. "Whether for recreation or for survival, these outdoor activities increase our economy, strengthen Alaska culture and support Alaskan families."
Provisions of the package include:
Making Public Lands Public, which improves access to existing federal public lands that have significantly restricted access for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes;
The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, which helps states build and maintain public shooting ranges and promote firearm safety;
The reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Over the last 20 years, this program has funded over 1,600 projects that conserved more than 20 million acres of wetlands across North America. NAWCA is also cost-effective, with every dollar of federal funding traditionally generating three dollars in non-federal money;
The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, which excludes ammo and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act, leaving decisions about tackle to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
The Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act, which grants the Secretary of the Interior permanent authority to authorize any state to issue electronic duck stamps.
Sen. Begich is a member of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.