SCI Congratulates House Sponsors of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013

capitoldomegreenfirstforhunters02140114Safari Club International (SCI) yesterday thanked the bi-partisan Members of the House of Representatives who are original co-sponsors of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013.

The SHARE Act was introduced by Congressman Robert Latta (OH), Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS), Congressman Robert Wittman (VA), and Congressman Tim Walz (MN). The Sportsmen’s Act includes legislation that has been successfully advanced by Congressman Dan Benishek (MI), Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA), Congressman Don Young (AK), Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH) and Congressman Jeff Miller (FL).

“Bi-partisanship is one of the continuing hallmarks for legislation to protect and advance hunting and angling, and SCI is proud to support the SHARE Act, as introduced by the members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus,” said SCI President Craig Kauffman. “We are celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept 28th, and this legislation is welcome news to the nearly 60 million hunters and anglers of our nation who want to ensure the protection of their freedoms.”

“SCI hosted a breakfast briefing for members and staff of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus in July 2013 where these essential pieces of legislation were addressed. It is heartening to see a plan come into action to protect our freedom to hunt,” said SCI Director of Government Affairs Melissa Simpson.

Key components of the SHARE Act include:

1.  The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 322 – Rep. Miller)

Reaffirms and clarifies language within TSCA to protect traditional hunting, fishing, and shields target shooting equipment from litigation.

2.  Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 2463/S. 1212 – Rep. Duncan Hunter)

Allows states more funds available for a longer period of time for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges. This legislation also encourages federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges.

3.  Public Lands Filming (H.R. 2798 – Rep. Latta)

Directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, for any film crew of five persons or fewer, to require a permit and assess an annual fee of $200 for commercial filming activities or similar projects on federal lands and waterways administered by the Secretary.

4.  Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act (H.R. 1818/S. 847 – Rep. Don Young)

Allows for renewed funding for the U.S. – Russian Polar Bear Conservation Fund and requires the U.S. FWS to issue importation permits for harvested polar bears.

5.  Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act (H.R. 1206/S. 738  -Rep. Wittman)

Grants the Secretary of the Interior permanent authority to authorize any state to issue electronic duck stamps.  It also outlines electronic duck stamp application requirements.

6.  Recreational Lands Self Defense Act (H.R. 2046 – Rep. Gibbs)

Prohibits the Secretary of the Army from promulgating or enforcing any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm at a water resources development project administered by the Corps of Engineers if: (1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm, and (2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the state in which the project is located.

7.  Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee (H.R. 2799 – Rep. Latta)

Permanently establishes the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, recreational hunting and shooting.

8.  Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (H.R. 1825/S. 170 – Rep. Benishek)

Requires the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, recreational fishing, and shooting and facilitate the use of and access to Federal public lands and waters for these activities, pursuant to reasonable exceptions. Access to areas to participate in these activities is one of the top reasons cited as to why sportsmen stop participating in their sports.

9.  Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3099 – Rep. Jeff Miller)

Sets framework to effectively manage and conserve the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery by placing the stewardship/management for red snapper within the states, rather than keeping it in the hands of the federal government.

“SCI is proud that Members of Congress continue to support our hunting heritage. We look forward to the quick passage of the SHARE Act and we hope that the Senate can also act in a bi-partisan fashion to protect hunting and fishing for future generations,” concluded Kauffman.

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