November 13, 2012
Must-Pass Legislation: Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 - 0
by Ben Lamb
One of the biggest bills in a generation comes up for a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate this Thursday. That means there must be 60 Senators who think that a bill widely praised by the NRA, Boone and Crockett Club, and just about every big sportsman’s organization should pass without bogging down in the time-tested stall tactics our elected officials like to engage in.
We’ve covered the details of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 here before, but now that the election year frivolity is over, it’s time for Congress to get back to business. Before the Senate broke in October for some much-needed time away from lobbyists to campaign, the Senate voted on another procedural motion on this bill. The motion passed 84-12. That’s a commanding margin of victory for anyone who’s worked in the politics of outdoors recreation.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, the bill’s author, should be commended highly for his ability to work with different interest groups to get a bill that truly will increase the number of acres of public land available to hunters and anglers, as well as streamline regulation of lead shot, importation of legally harvested polar bears, and reauthorization of funding for conservation programs that ensure we have abundant game on our public land.
The fight for the Sportsmen’s Act isn’t over. The NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and a host of other national, regional and local groups are calling all hands to lobby their senators for passage.
You should stand up and be counted as well. It’s not often that Congress can agree on anything. Let’s let them know that hunters and anglers want them to work together to solve problems, not just stare at each other and cause more.
Write your Senator, and after this passes the Senate, write your Congressman as well. Good legislation like this deserves to be passed. It helps out not only our hunting and angling today, but ensures a vibrant future that we can hand down to our children and grandchildren.
To write or email your Senator, click here.
About Open Country
Hunters and anglers across the nation consistently list one challenge as their primary obstacle to spending more time in the field: Access.
Outdoor Life's Open Country program aims to tackle that issue head on and with boots on the ground. The program highlights volunteer-driven efforts to improve access along with habitat improvements to make existing public lands even better places to hunt and fish. The program's goal is to substantially increase sportsman's access across the country by promoting events that make a difference.
Here on Open Country's blog page, contributors take a close look at access issues across the country. Some are public-policy discussions, where we investigate the nuances of public access. In other blogs, we shine a light on attempts to turn public recreation opportunities into private hunting and fishing domains. In still other blogs, we interview decision makers about access issues. Together, we fight for the ability of America's hunters and anglers to have a place to swing a gun or wet a line.
We promise the discussion is always lively, interesting, and fresh, so visit this page frequently to tune into the latest access issue.
The Open Country program culminates in grants and awards with top projects and participants being honored.