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Freedom to Fish Act Stops Army Corps of Engineers from Restricting Access on Cumberland River

May 24, 2013
Freedom to Fish Act Stops Army Corps of Engineers from Restricting Access on Cumberland River - 0

When it comes to access, this is the only type of closure we like to see.
Both arms of Congress have passed the Freedom To Fish Act. Pending Pres. Obama’s signature, the legislation brings a temporary close to a ridiculous movement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to impose stringent access restrictions on fishing below dams along the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The bill, which passed May 21, received bipartisan support (seriously) and was introduced in the Senate by Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and in the House by Kentucky’s Ed Whitfield.

The bill is not a permanent solution however. It prevents the Corps from establishing any further restrictions on public access to the tailwaters below dams for two years and also requires that existing barriers established after Aug. 1, 2012 be removed.

Sen. Alexander, who has been a champion for anglers throughout this ordeal, is seeking a permanent solution to the issue in the Water Resources and Development Act which has already passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.

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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.

Submit a project for the Open Country Grant Award.
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Event Calendar

  • June 1: Red Oak Planting in Gwinn Forest Management Unit
  • June 7: Pinegrass Restoration, Willamette River (Eugene, OR REMF Chapter). Contact.
  • June 7-8: Lower Deschutes River Thistle Cut (OR Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and OR Fish and Wildlife). Contact.
  • June 13-15: Prairie City Aspen Habitat Enhancement (Oregon Hunters Association, Capitol Chapter) Contact: 503-399-1234
  • June 21: Smith Ridge Meadows (Eugene, OR Chapter RMEF). Contact.