Sportfishing industry celebrates passage of numerous conservation and public access provisions
Alexandria, VA – February 27, 2019 – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), a historic legislation package. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), which represents the recreational fishing industry, sees this as a major victory for public lands access, habitat conservation and the outdoor recreation economy. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk for signing.
“It’s exciting to see Congress demonstrate this clear recognition of the importance of our nation’s public lands and outdoor recreation,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s vice president of Government Affairs. “Passage of the Natural Resources Management Act will benefit the recreational fishing industry, and anyone who values our nation’s public lands, for many years to come.”
Comprised of more than 100 locally and regionally specific public lands bills, the package contains defining wins for recreational fishing and the entire outdoor recreation community. Of particular importance to ASA is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, the Sportsmen’s Access to Federal Land subtitle and the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act.
Last week, ASA joined more than 40 hunting, fishing and conservation organizations in signing a letter to House leadership urging lawmakers to prioritize and pass this important legislation.
Last evening, during an event hosted by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, of which ASA is a member and ASA President Glenn Hughes sits on the Executive Committee, more than 100 recreation industry leaders applauded the bipartisan and bicameral passage of the Natural Resources Management Act.
Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Garret Graves (R-La.), Peter Welch (D- Vt.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and John Curtis (R-Utah) spoke to the group and were personally thanked for their wide ranging support for outdoor recreation, including providing funding for the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, as well as securing appropriations for the first federal government study of the outdoor recreation economy at the state level.
Last year, the government released national data demonstrating the importance of an outdoor recreation economy that accounts for 2.2 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and directly supports 4.5 million jobs.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 49 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 800,000 people.