by Susan Recce, NRA-ILA Director of Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources - Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The mammoth Senate Bill S.47, sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), passed in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in February and was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump yesterday. Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior David Bernhardt applauded the President. “President Trump knows that federal lands are meant to provide both peace and prosperity for the American people, and signing this bill allows us to continue managing public lands in a balanced way.” The bill, also known as the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, contains nine titles and 245 sections. Within those titles and sections is language lifted from the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act that passed the House in three previous Congresses as part of a package of sportsmen’s bills, but never made it through the Senate.
All of the provisions in S.47 related to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting (HFRS) were initiated by and/or developed by the National Rifle Association in concert with several other non-government organizations (NGOs) nearly eight years ago. Thus, the passage of S. 47 was a victory in getting sportsmen’s access language and other provisions of importance to hunters—whose dollars fund wildlife conservation—across the Congressional finish line. The NRA is pleased to report that these provisions include:
Shortfalls of S.47
Despite the hard work of the NRA and like-minded organizations over the past eight years and all of the above provisions in S.47, it fell short of the sportsmen’s package of bills previously passed by the House. Language addressing past anti-hunting court rulings was not included in addition to other NRA-backed provisions. NRA-ILA will continue to work with link-minded organizations, members of Congress, and this Administration on behalf of sportsmen to achieve these goals.
About the Author: Susan Recce, NRA-ILA Director of Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources, has spent four decades fighting for sportsmen’s access to public lands. In recognition of her dedication to American sportsmen, Recce has received numerous awards, including Outdoor Life’s 2016 Open Country Award honoring esteemed individuals and groups working to ensure sportsmen maintain access to places to hunt, fish and recreationally shoot.
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