BIPARTISAN SPORTSMEN’S ACT HAD FIRST SENATE HEARING TODAY

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT and SCI member) questions the witnesses on the importance of the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT and SCI member) questions the witnesses on the importance of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act.

CALL YOUR SENATORS TO CO-SPONSOR S. 405 IF BOTH ARE NOT ON THIS LIST!

S. 405, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 is a top SCI legislative priority for 2015. This morning, the bill had its first hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which heard testimony supporting the bill from Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, among others. As a testament to the importance and bipartisan support of this bill 17 of the 22 Committee members attended the hearing.

Included in the bill is a provision to codify an “open until closed” policy for hunter access to federal public lands. This language simply confirms what the agencies already have the discretion to do, but is necessary to protect federal land use policy from interference by anti-hunting groups that are constantly seeking to limit hunter access through a variety of contrived maneuvers.

Also included is language to provide administrative relief for polar bear hunters with trophies trapped in-transit. More than 40 hunters who took polar bears in legal hunts in Canada have suffered the effective taking of their personal property by regulatory fiat when the U.S. government changed the listing of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, thus precluding the import of the trophies from Canada.

The bill has gained 12 new Republican and Democratic cosponsors: Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).  They joined the original co-sponsors, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jim Risch (R-Id.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) If both of your U.S. Senators are not on this list, call them today at 202/224-3121 and ask them to cosponsor this important legislation!
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