Category Archives: Legislation

Senate Passes Act, Recognizing Sportsmen’s Access Priorities

Senate Passes Natural Resources Management Act, Recognizing Sportsmen’s Access Priorities

Congressional-Sportsmens-FoundationFebruary 12, 2019 (Washington, DC) – The Senate approved the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), which contains many longstanding priorities advocated by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), on a bipartisan vote of 92 – 8.

Introduced by Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee Chair and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) along with Senator Maria Cantwell (WA), this comprehensive package of legislation includes numerous provisions that will improve access for sportsmen and women and will provide resources for habitat conservation programs. Following introduction in January, nearly 50 organizations submitted a support letter urging Senate Leadership to consider S. 47. Some of the priority sporting provisions in this bill include:

  • Authorizing the transportation of archery equipment through National Park Service (NPS) Units.
  • Directing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands to be open for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting unless specifically closed.
  • Directing the NPS, BLM, USFS, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to annually identify lands where sporting related activities are permitted, but where access is currently unavailable or restricted.
  • Permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund with 3% or $15 million of annual appropriations made available for the purpose of securing additional access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other outdoor related activities.

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“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds the Senate Leadership for bringing this important legislation for sportsmen and women to the floor for a vote,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “This is common sense legislation that is the result of years of negotiations with Congressional champions to get to this point, and CSF will work with the House of Representatives to pass this legislation and get it signed into law.”

Sen. Murkowski provided a statement on the Senate floor. “This package contains huge wins for Americans.” She continued, “It also expands and enhances access for our sportsmen and women on federal lands for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.”

During his floor speech, Ranking Member of the ENR Committee and CSC Vice-Chair Senator Joe Manchin said, “This package enjoys the support of numerous stakeholder organizations across the political spectrum. For example, the National Wildlife Federation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation are two of its strongest and most dedicated advocates; and I thank them for their support.”

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He continued, “The Natural Resources Management Act will enhance and expand sportsmen’s access by making federal lands in West Virginia and throughout the nation open unless closed for fishing, hunting, recreational shooting, and other outdoor activities. As a hunter myself, and as Vice-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, I know how frustrated sportsmen’s groups have been trying to get their bills passed the last few years.”

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Since 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the interests of America’s hunters and anglers.



David Bernhardt Selected as Secretary Of Interior

We look forward to seeing this outdoorsman work toward all things good for wildlife, habitat, outdoorsmen, and our country.

President Trump Taps David Bernhardt For Secretary Of InteriorTitle

SCI first for hunters logoPresident Donald Trump has selected acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt as a permanent replacement for former Secretary Ryan Zinke.

In a tweet Monday announcing his decision, the President said: “David has done a fantastic job from the day he arrived, and we look forward to having his nomination officially confirmed!”

“It’s a humbling privilege to be nominated to lead a Department whose mission I love, to accomplish the balanced, common sense vision of our President,” Bernhardt said in a statement.

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“Safari Club International adds its congratulations to David Bernhardt,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “I personally look forward to working closely with him as a member of the International Wildlife Conservation Council and wish David the best of luck as he enters this new phase in his career.”

Support for Bernhardt has poured in from key Congressional leaders and outside groups that have worked with Bernhardt during both his stint at Interior and throughout his career.

“It’s a brilliant move,” said Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the ranking GOP member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “No one is more experienced, and I look forward to working with him.”

Bernhardt is an avid outdoorsman with years of experience managing fish and wildlife resources.


Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
www.SafariClub.org

Give Your Opinions on Big Game Structures | Colorado

Big game hunting meeting in Durango, Feb. 6 

CPW_SiteLogoDURANGO, Colo. — Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites hunters and anglers to give their ideas and opinions about wildlife issues and the new big game season structure at a meeting, 6-8:30 p.m., Feb. 6 in the Eulos Room at the Durango Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave.

In the first part of the meeting, local wildlife managers will give an overview of wildlife related issues. The remainder of the meeting will include a presentation and discussion of the big game season structure.  Every five years CPW evaluates all big-game hunting seasons and asks hunters for their opinions on if changes are needed. The new structure will be in effect for the 2020-2024 seasons.

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The meeting is also part of the ongoing statewide “Sportsmen’s Roundtable” process set up by CPW to assure that hunters, anglers and everyone who cares about wildlife can provide input and discuss issues with leaders of the agency.

Wildlife managers will explain the process of evaluating the big-game seasons and how the seasons are currently arranged. A brief survey will be conducted at the meeting, so participants are asked to bring their smart phones.

Hunters are also asked to complete an on-line survey that is being used to gather information: https://www.research.net/r/8MQNS3F. The deadline to make comments on the big game season structure is Feb. 11.

For more information, call Joe Lewandowski at 970-375-6708; or by e-mail at joe.lewandowski@state.co.us.


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.


Elections to be Held at Game Commission Meeting | New Mexico

Game Commission to meet Jan. 10 in Santa Fe

nmdgf-logo-color_originalSANTA FE – The New Mexico State Game Commission will meet Thursday, January 10, 2019, in Santa Fe to elect 2019 chair and vice chair positions and to hear a presentation on the department’s 2018 accomplishments.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Santa Fe Community College Board Room, located at 6401 Richards Avenue.

Other agenda items include:

  • Results from the Fiscal Year 2018 audit from Moss Adams
  • Presentation on the department’s education efforts
  • Update on the development of shooting ranges

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The full agenda and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

The State Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Current members are chairman Paul Kienzle, vice chairman Bill Montoya, Thomas “Dickie” Salopek, Ralph Ramos, Bob Ricklefs, Craig Peterson and Chance Chase.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact Tristanna Bickford, (505) 476-8027. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms.


Bobcat Trapping Ban Proposal to be Heard – Colorado Hunting

Take Action Today! Colorado sportsmen need to contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and let them know to oppose any petition that would ban bobcat trapping or hunting. Colorado members can contact the commission using this email: DNR_CPWCommission@state.co.us.

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On Jan. 10, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will hold a hearing on a citizen’s petition that would ban the recreational and commercial trapping and hunting of bobcats. The petition claims that allowing the trapping and hunting of bobcats poses a serious threat to Canada lynx, as both cats geographical habitat overlap.

“The use of a federally protected species – Canada lynx in this case – is a favorite tactic of animal-rights groups who want nothing more than to shut down hunting and trapping,” said Luke Houghton, Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services. “They have tried numerous times to ban all trapping in Maine and Minnesota using litigation dealing with federally protected populations of Canada lynx, and in Maine their arguments were rejected by the courts.”

Colorado already has some of the most restrictive trapping laws after Initiative 14 passed in 1996. The initiative banned commonly used trapping methods, including: snares, leghold and conibear traps. Currently, trappers are only able to use box, cage or other live traps to take bobcats. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a free guide to help sportsmen distinguish between species so that accidental take of lynx are reduced even more.

The author of the petition goes further, claiming that there are more wildlife watchers in the U.S. than there are hunters and trappers. However, she fails to mention that millions of those wildlife watchers are also hunters and trappers, and that sportsmen provide the bulk of the revenue states receive for the conservation and management of wildlife through the sales of hunting and trapping licenses and tags, along with excise taxes on equipment. Sportsmen also provide real-time data to state biologists on the health and wellbeing of bobcats in Colorado pursuant to state regulations.

“This petition ignores sound science and uses tactics by the extreme animal-rights community to end the harvest of a healthy and abundant species,” continued Houghton. “It’s nothing but a backdoor attempt to shut down a hunting and trapping season. What is ironic, though, is this petition fails to recognize that hunters and trappers are the very reason that bobcat numbers continue to flourish in Colorado, and why the lynx population has a sustainable environment to grow its population.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


New Mexico Hunters and Trappers – Director to Hear Comments

Director to hear public comments on trapping rule

ALBUQUERQUE – The Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will hold a listening session to hear public comments on proposed changes to the furbearer rule. Proposed changes include mandatory trapper education, increasing set-back requirements, allowance for closure of areas to trapping, signage and further clarifying the definition of a trail.

The listening session will be conducted 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at the department’s Northwest Regional Office, 7816 Alamo Road NW in Albuquerque.

Comments can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Furbearer Rule Development, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; by email, ispa@state.nm.us, or in person at the meeting.


States Working to Gain Control of Wolf Management

Thank you for your hard work in contacting your legislators aboutH.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act. It has passed the House. It is now time to contact your Senators!

Wolf De-Listing Bill A Win For Hunters

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill that returns wolf management to states and is a step toward fixing flaws in the Endangered Species Act – something Safari Club International, on behalf of all hunters, has championed for years.

H.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act, was introduced in September by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI).  The bill was approved 196-180 and secured bipartisan support from nine Democrats and 187 Republicans.

Passage of the Manage Our Wolves Act will return management of the Western Great Lakes gray wolf population to the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The bill will also ensure that Wyoming’s gray wolf management remains under state authority and will direct the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to delist the remaining gray wolves of the lower 48 states, with the exception of Mexican wolves.

SCI President Paul Babaz was quick to praise the win on the House floor.

“First, thanks to Rep. Sean Duffy and so many other supportive Members of Congress for highlighting the critical need to recognize that recovery must lead to de-listing,” SCI President Babaz said.  “Second, this is a tremendous victory for hunters, wildlife conservation in general, and State wildlife managers.  All of them have played significant roles recovering gray wolf populations.”

While wolf recovery successes have been continually thwarted or ignored by courts acting on the many ambiguities or flaws in the wording of the ESA, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service states on its website: “the gray wolf has rebounded from the brink of extinction to exceed population targets by as much as 300 percent.  Today, there are estimated to be 5,691 gray wolves in the contiguous United States.  Wolf numbers continue to be robust, stable and self-sustaining.”

The recovery of the gray wolf is a success story and H.R. 6784 will help correctly transfer their management to the professionals at the state wildlife management agencies—the primary managers of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources.

“I’m very proud SCI has been a leader in ESA litigation efforts over so many years to help support wolf delisting,” SCI President Babaz added.  “Today’s win in Congress is an opportunity for federal legislators to clear away ESA’s roadblocks and enact laws to recognize easily documentable recovery efforts and restore State wildlife management authority.”

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters · Washington, DC
www.SafariClub.org

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