WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, unveiled the Sportsmen’s Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation he’s championed to enhance opportunities for hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, reauthorize key conservation programs, improve access to public lands, and help boost the outdoor recreation economy.
“The number one issue for sportsmen across the country is access. This widely supported, bipartisan bill will open more areas to hunting and fishing and grow America's thriving outdoor recreation economy,” said Sen. Heinrich.“Hunting and fishing are a way of life for millions of Americans – especially in New Mexico where outdoor recreation as a whole is directly responsible for 68,000 jobs. Sportsmen have a deep connection to the outdoors and benefit from the recreation, wildlife, and water that our public lands provide and I remain deeply committed to conserving these treasured places for our children and all future generations to enjoy.”
The Sportsmen's Act, S. 733, includes the text of Senator Heinrich's Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures (HUNT) Act that directs all federal public land management agencies to identify high priority federal lands where hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are permitted but where access is non-existent or significantly restricted, and develop plans to provide access.
The Sportsmen’s Act also reauthorizes the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA), enabling the government to sell public land for ranching, community development, and other projects, and allow federal agencies to use the revenue to acquire high-priority in-holdings from willing sellers. The Sportsmen’s Act was introduced this week by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and will be considered during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s business meeting on Thursday, March 30.
Last Congress, Senator Heinrich championed a similar sportsmen’s package, which was added to the broad, bipartisan energy bill through an amendment that passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 0.
A copy of the bill is available here.