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Putnam Adds Wounded Warrior, Public Access to Defense Bill

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A provision by Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), encouraging continued public hunting and fishing access on military controlled property and calling on the Department of Defense to address accessibility issues for wounded warriors, was added to defense authorization legislation.

"More than 400 military installations across the country allow for recreational hunting and fishing opportunities on their property," said Putnam. "Those installations which allow the public to access these areas are providing a tremendous benefit to their neighboring communities by allowing them to share these natural resources.

"The relationship between the military and outdoorsmen can be mutually beneficial. By allowing the public to access these areas and enjoy these lands, the Department of Defense helps to establish positive relationships between the military and civilian population."

The Putnam amendment expresses the sense of Congress that access should continue and that discounts should be given to active duty personnel and veterans where fees are charged for access. It also encourages those in charge of the facilities to ensure that accommodations are made for disabled veterans.

"Unfortunately, only about 20 military installations provide adaptive equipment for hunting or fishing programs for disabled Americans," said Putnam. "These recreational opportunities often serve an important role in the rehabilitation process of wounded warriors and efforts should be made to ensure these lands are accessible to them."

The defense authorization bill provides the budget authority for the Defense Department and the national security programs of the Energy Department.

Since 2001, Putnam has represented Florida's 12th Congressional District, which includes most of Polk County and portions of Hillsborough and Osceola counties.

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