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Public Statements

Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BENISHEK. Madam Chairman, I come before the House today as a cosponsor and a strong supporter of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act.

I thank my good friend, Chairman Miller, for introducing it, and I'm particularly pleased that title I of the bill contains the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act, a bill I introduced last September.

Madam Chairman, my northern Michigan district is blessed with abundant natural resources, including three Federal forests. Like many in the First District, I have enjoyed hunting and fishing since I was a child. These are memories I have cherished for a lifetime, and I want to ensure that northern Michigan's children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same.

Today's bipartisan bill is not some sweeping or radical piece of legislation. It simply confirms that sportsmen will be able to access Federal lands to enjoy fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting. These pursuits are part of the tradition of American public land use, but regrettably they are threatened by animal rights and environmental groups that seek to end that tradition.

Like many in this House, I believe these traditions are something to be celebrated and protected. Whether it's trout fishing in May, deer hunting in November, or just shooting clays with some friends, every person in this country has a right to enjoy these lands.

Madam Chairman, let us make clear today that hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Federal lands must be protected. Let us make sure that when our grandchildren pick up their fishing rod or firearm for their first time and head out into America's great outdoors, they have the same rights and privileges that we have always known.

I invite all my colleagues to visit northern Michigan this summer for some of the best trout fishing in America or visit this October or November for some grouse and deer hunting.


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