* American Sportfishing Association * Archery Trade Association * Boone and Crockett Club * Bowhunting Preservation Alliance * Campfire Club of America * Catch-A-Dream Foundation * Center for Coastal Conservation * Coastal Conservation Association * Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation * Conservation Force * Dallas Safari Club * Delta Waterfowl Foundation * Ducks Unlimited * Houston Safari Club * International Game Fish Association * International Hunter Education Association * Masters of Foxhounds Association * Mule Deer Foundation * National Rifle Association * National Shooting Sports Foundation * National Trappers Association * National Wild Turkey Federation * North American Bear Foundation * North American Grouse Partnership * Pheasants Forever * Pope and Young Club * Quail Forever * Quality Deer Management Association * Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation * Ruffed Grouse Society * Safari Club International * Shimano * Texas Wildlife Association * The Bass Federation * U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance * Wild Sheep Foundation * Wildlife Forever * Wildlife Management Institute *
April 12, 2012
Representative John Boehner
Speaker of the House
1011 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Representative Eric Cantor
House Majority Leader
303 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
Representative Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader
235 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Leader Pelosi:
The undersigned organizations from the recreational fishing, hunting, shooting, and wildlife conservation community would like to bring to your attention our support for H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. This legislation is basically comprised of several of the approximately eight sportsmen’s priority bills being championed by the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Additionally, in these fiscal times, none of the provisions of H.R. 4089 score or contain any authorization for funding. We understand that not all of the eight sportsmen’s priority bills are included within this Act; however, we appreciate the need to quickly move this legislation as it currently stands.
H.R. 4089 is essential to recognizing the importance of and facilitating the expansion and enhancement of hunting and recreational fishing and shooting. H.R. 4089 is a compilation of four different bills (H.R. 2834, H.R. 3440, H.R. 991, and H.R. 1558) that promote and advance
our hunting and recreational fishing and shooting heritage. Summarily, the bill includes language that
- requires hunting and recreational shooting and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands;
- protects recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management;
- amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow hunters who legally harvested polar bears in Canada prior to its listing under the Endangered Species Act to purchase
- permits in order to transport their trophies into the U.S.; and
- clarifies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the jurisdiction to regulate traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle.
Specifically, H.R. 4089 is composed of the following titles:
TITLE I - RECREATIONAL FISHING AND HUNTING HERITAGE AND OPPORTUNITIES After acknowledging that “recreational anglers and hunters have been and continue to be among the foremost supporters of sound fish and wildlife management and conservation in the United States” and defining hunting and recreational fishing as “environmentally acceptable and beneficial activities,” Title I would require the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, recreational fishing, and shooting and facilitate the use of and access to Federal public lands and waters for these activities, pursuant to reasonable exceptions. Access to areas to participate in these activities is one of the top reasons cited as to why sportsmen stop participating in their sports. We support and endorse the perfecting language designed to address potential unintended consequences, as reflected in the amended HR2834 as reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee.
TITLE II – RECREATIONAL SHOOTING PROTECTION This portion of the bill protects the ability of Americans to enjoy recreational shooting on public lands. Specifically, this portion of the bill says, “Subject to valid existing rights, National Monument land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management shall be open to access and use for recreational shooting.” Therefore, if a Federal land agency needs to close a portion of land to recreational shooting they are required to “submit to Congress a report detailing the location and extent of, and evidence justifying, such a closure or restriction” and to meet other criteria designed to keep all available lands open to sportsmen and recreational shooters. This portion of H.R. 4089 also instructs Federal land managers to manage lands “in a manner that supports, promotes and enhances recreational shooting opportunities….”
TITLE III - POLAR BEAR CONSERVATION AND FAIRNESS This portion of the legislation permits the importation of polar bear trophies taken legally by hunters in Canada through an amendment to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. If this bill were to be enacted, up to $41,000 would be generated for polar bear conservation and research which would aid in future polar bear conservation efforts.
TITLE IV – HUNTING, FISHING, AND RECREATIONAL SHOOTING PROTECTION This portion of the legislation amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to exclude traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle from regulation by the Environmental
Protection Agency. Title IV covers a variety of hunting and fishing components that will be exempt because they are subject to a Federal excise tax which serves as a revenue source for conservation efforts at the state level. There is no scientific evidence to suggest the lead contained in ammunition and fishing tackle is having an adverse impact at the population or ecosystem level, and a ban on lead in sporting equipment would unduly burden both industry and sportsmen alike.
The enactment of H.R. 4089 is an important step in the advancement of America’s sporting heritage. We urge you to support H.R. 4089. With your support, we can help overcome the obstacles facing sportsmen and women today and further the sportsmen tradition so that it can be handed down for generations to come.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with you to enact H.R. 4089.
American Sportfishing Association
Archery Trade Association
Boone and Crockett Club
Bowhunting Preservation Alliance
Campfire Club of America
Center for Coastal Conservation
Coastal Conservation Association
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Houston Safari Club
International Game Fish Association
International Hunter Education Association
Masters of Foxhounds Association
Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Bear Foundation
North American Grouse Partnership
Pope and Young Club
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
Texas Wildlife Association
The Bass Federation
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Management Institute