Senate Votes to Advance Public Lands Package; BHA Urges House to Follow Suit
Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization, other conservation priorities included in broad-based package of bills
WASHINGTON – A vote by the U.S. Senate today supported a massive package of conservation and public access bills that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and advances other key measures, edging hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts closer to a hard-won and long-awaited victory.
The Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47) encompasses the consensus priorities of sportsmen and women as well as a bipartisan cadre of senators who have worked to ensure the legislation’s survival. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) ongoing efforts that began last Congress paid off with today’s overwhelming 92-8 vote in support of the measure.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members have been vocal proponents of S. 47 and the critical role of LWCF in conserving and providing access to great places to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors.
“As sportsmen and women, we understand all too well that success is never guaranteed – and cannot be attained without considerable effort and tenacity,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “We have come together as a community and poured blood, sweat and tears into advancing measures that represent our shared values and our collective vision.
“BHA members called on their members of Congress, they wrote letters and traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with their elected officials, they spoke out repeatedly in support of this legislation,” Tawney continued. “The squeaky wheel still gets the grease in this country, and our actions – along with our partners and the support of our allies in Congress – prove this right of citizenship beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
- Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund with 3 percent dedicated to securing hunting and fishing access opportunities on public lands and waters;
- Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area;
- Methow Valley permanent mineral withdrawal;
- California Desert Protection and Recreation Act;
- Cerro del Yuta and Rio San Antonio wilderness areas;
- Reauthorization of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program at current funding levels of $51.6 million until FY2022;
- Reauthorization of Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act at $6.5 million until FY2022, a $2.6 million increase of funding from currently enacted levels;
- Authorization for hunters with archery equipment to cross National Park Service lands by foot or horseback.
Tawney emphasized the need for the House of Representatives to quickly advance S. 47 to the president’s desk.
“S. 47 advanced due to the willingness of Senate members to come together for the common good and work in service of the citizenry at large,” stated Tawney. “The House has a responsibility to follow suit. To our House leaders: American sportsmen and women urge you to remain focused on the task at hand. Expeditiously advance this foresighted measure. Our outdoors legacy, our economic health and our public lands and waters rely on you to take decisive action on legislation that most Americans support.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.