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House Votes to Expand Hunting, Fishing on Public Lands

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Alaskan Congressman Don Young voted today for H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 a bill that includes, among other things, Rep. Young's provision that would allow for the importation of polar bear trophies that were hunted and harvested legally in Canada before the polar bear was listed as "threatened" in 2008.

"The House passed a good, common-sense piece of legislation today," said Rep. Young. "In addition to paving the way for an expansion of hunting and fishing activities on public lands, the House is correcting a wrong that I have been working on for years. The 41 dead polar bears that this legislation affects, were not only hunted and harvested legally, but are currently sitting in Canadian warehouses where they hold absolutely no conservation value.

"Not only is this a bipartisan issue, but I have worked with the Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure their concerns were taken into account. Every step of the way, these hunters have followed the law -- it's time we return to them what is rightfully theirs."

The Sportsmen's Heritage Act is a combination of bills that will protect hunters and fisherman by rolling back burdensome bureaucratic regulations and government overreach -- a top priority for Congressman Young. Specifically, the bill would:

Require federal land managers to support and facilitate use and access for hunting, fishing and shooting on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.
Require the BLM to justify closures or restrictions on national monument lands for only national security, public safety or to comply with federal and state laws.
Protect the use of traditional ammunition and fishing tackle by clarifying the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority under the Toxic Substances Act.

H.R. 4089 has the support of many national hunting and fishing organizations including the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and Ducks Unlimited.

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