Another Round for Federal Sportsmen’s Act; Passes U.S. House!
Though introduced by a variety of Congressmen and women over the last several years, a new package of pro-sportsmen’s bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week. H.R. 3590, a bi-partisan package, passed by a vote of 268-15 and includes vital language ensuring over 700 million acres of federal public lands remain open to fishing and hunting.
H.R. 3590 was sponsored by Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and the 87 co-sponsors include Congressmen Benishek, Huizenga, and Walberg and Congresswoman Miller from the Michigan delegation. This bill addresses the top concerns of American hunters, anglers and recreational shooters. Known as the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2013, it includes many important provisions for the future of hunting.
A key feature of H.R. 3590 is the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) and MUCC supported “Open Until Closed” language, which spells out that hunting, fishing and recreational shooting are legitimate and important activities on the more than 700 million acres of federal land managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The language will help stop frivolous lawsuits brought by animal rights and anti-hunting organizations when federal agencies move to open land to sportsmen. This will also help clarify the rights to hunt on National Forest lands when threatened by lawsuits similar to the Huron-Manistee case, when Kurt Meister’s lawsuit threatened to eliminate firearm hunting from 70,000 acres of National Forest here in Michigan.
In addition to “Open Until Closed,” the bill includes language to:
- prohibit the U.S. EPA from regulating lead ammunition and fishing tackle;
- allow for the importation of 41 legally harvested trophies taken before Polar Bears were listed as an endangered species in 2008;
- promote the construction of shooting ranges on public lands; and
- permanently authorize the online sale of duck stamps.
We hope you will call on your U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin from Michigan to support this package in the U.S. Senate!
Levin, Carl – (D – MI)
Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI)