The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act Advances
Safari Club International (SCI) applauds the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for advancing a major portion of S.405, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 during yesterday’s committee markup hearing. The message to hunters from Capitol Hill is clear — the Senate is ready and willing to move this vital piece of legislation for American sportsmen and women.
Originally sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 contains provisions that will benefit our nation’s sportsmen and women by providing increased access to our public lands and waters and improving fish and wildlife management.
Included in S. 405 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.
Why is this this bipartisan legislation so important? It supports conservation while also improving access to recreational hunting and fishing on federal lands. Hunting and other outdoor sports continue to grow in popularity across America, as people seek the simple pleasure of being outdoors with friends and family. This long-overdue bill seeks to increase opportunities for hunters, shooters and anglers by reducing regulations that prevent Americans from enjoying our outdoor heritage.
Thank you to all of the SCI members and hunters who took the time to contact your Senators to urge advancement of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. All hunters’ voices were heard and made a difference.