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house Bill H.R. 2406

Should Recreational Fishers, Hunters, and Marksmen Have More Access to Federal Lands?

Argument in favor

This is a bipartisan bill that would responsibly expand access to federal lands for people who enjoy recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting.

Eli's Opinion
···
02/25/2016
It's not that there is insufficient land to hunt on currently, but that no more land is being produced. We must preserve what we have and be able to enjoy the use of said land. There will be no hunting in Yellowstone or any more risks to bystanders.
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SpencerBudd's Opinion
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02/25/2016
The government owns too much of U.S. land that it is sickening. As long as these people aren't hunting in National Parks, let them go at it. Too much government restriction.
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Mark's Opinion
···
02/25/2016
Unless the land is used for government buildings the government shouldn't own any land
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Argument opposed

There should be no more fishing, hunting, or recreational shooting on federal land than already takes place, or it should be further restricted.

Leo's Opinion
···
02/25/2016
I see no sudden shortage of hunting and fishing areas. What needs does this bill address?
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CPMonroe's Opinion
···
02/27/2016
This is truly atrocious. Not only does this restrict enforcement & monitoring efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior & other legislative bodies, it places judicial/legal restrictions, bars lawsuits & sets up maximums that can be leveled against violators of public land laws (no matter the actual costs) . The final insult of this bill, is three-fold: this bill removes endangered species from the list of protected wildlife (as if politicians know how to manage & protect wildlife better than the experts); it allows said endangered animals to be hunted or captured and, finally, it removes penalties from hunting or capturing endangered animals. Let your Congressional representatives know that wildlife (both flora & fauna), the lands that support them & endangered species should be protected & properly managed -- not opened to the trophy hunters & entities wishing to exploit our public lands & it's resources.
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johnromano16's Opinion
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02/25/2016
Is there currently insufficient land for fishing and hunting? I don't think this bill meets a significant need in our society, and this money could be better spent elsewhere.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed February 26th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 242 Yea / 161 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Conservation and Forestry
      National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
      Water, Oceans, and Wildlife
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Environment and Climate Change
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
      Water Resources and Environment
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedMay 19th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 2406?

This bill would revise existing programs and establish new laws related to the management of federal lands with the goal of expanding access and opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on those lands.

The Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act would be revised to allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other agencies of the Dept. of the Interior (DOI) to use funds from the sale of lands they administer to purchase inholdings (private land surrounded by federal land). It’s expected that extending this authorization will lead to more sales and purchases by the agencies, rising from a projected level of $7 million during the 2016-2022 period to $36 million.

Also included within this bill would be the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, which opens up wilderness areas and other lands managed by BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting. Causes for restrictions to remain in place would include public safety or national security concerns, and other federal laws precluding those activities, in addition to discretionary limits established through a public, scientific process.

Under this legislation the authority of the DOI and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to regulate the use of ammunition and fishing tackle based on its lead content would be limited. Components of firearms, ammunition, and sport fishing equipment would be exempted from chemical substances regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

An existing law known as the Pittman-Robertson WIldlife Restoration Act would be amended to:

  • Increase the proportion of funding from the Act that states may use to acquire land for public target ranges;

  • Delay by 10 years until 2026 the date after which interest from the wildlife conservation and restoration fund is available for apportionment.

The National Park Service (NPS) would be authorized to establish hunter access corridors, but wouldn’t be able to prohibit individuals from transporting bows and crossbows if certain requirements are met. Standards used to determine what constitutes a ‘baited area’ related to the prohibition on taking migratory game birds would be revised.

This bill also contains a provision aimed at preventing the illicit trafficking of animal products by requiring verification that imported polar bear parts were taken legally from approved populations in Canada before the animal was listed as threatened in 2008. Programs related to African Elephant conservation would be reauthorized through fiscal year 2020 at a funding level of $5 million per year.

The Army Corps of Engineers would be blocked from prohibiting the possession of a firearm in public areas of a water resources development project.

Impact

People who would fish, hunt, or shoot recreationally on covered federal lands; the USFS; the BLM; the NPS; the Army Corps of Engineers; and the DOI.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2406

$25.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $24 million over the 2016-2020 period, and $1 million thereafter.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) introduced this bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting:

“This bipartisan legislation is full of important initiatives that facilitate access to outdoor sporting activities and uphold the values and traditions celebrated by sportsmen and women across the United States. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and in the House of Representatives to continue moving this meaningful bill forward on behalf of America’s hunters and anglers.”

This legislation was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee on a vote of 21-15, and it currently enjoys the bipartisan support of 37 cosponsors — including four Democrats and 33 Republicans.


Of Note: In a 2011 survey compiled by the DOI — the entity that oversees agencies that manage federal lands and waterways — it was estimated that there are more than 33.1 million anglers (i.e. people who fish) in the U.S., and about 13.7 million people who hunt. It further projected that anglers spent nearly $42 billion on fishing in 2011, while hunters spent $34 billion on their hobby.

The BLM, which has 245 million acres of public land under its administration, is in charge of more federal land than any other agency. It holds that claim over the Forest Services, which manages 193 million acres. Together, they manage 438 million acres —  684,375 square miles — an area larger than Alaska.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user pocketwiley)

AKA

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Official Title

To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes.

    It's not that there is insufficient land to hunt on currently, but that no more land is being produced. We must preserve what we have and be able to enjoy the use of said land. There will be no hunting in Yellowstone or any more risks to bystanders.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    I see no sudden shortage of hunting and fishing areas. What needs does this bill address?
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    This is truly atrocious. Not only does this restrict enforcement & monitoring efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior & other legislative bodies, it places judicial/legal restrictions, bars lawsuits & sets up maximums that can be leveled against violators of public land laws (no matter the actual costs) . The final insult of this bill, is three-fold: this bill removes endangered species from the list of protected wildlife (as if politicians know how to manage & protect wildlife better than the experts); it allows said endangered animals to be hunted or captured and, finally, it removes penalties from hunting or capturing endangered animals. Let your Congressional representatives know that wildlife (both flora & fauna), the lands that support them & endangered species should be protected & properly managed -- not opened to the trophy hunters & entities wishing to exploit our public lands & it's resources.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    Is there currently insufficient land for fishing and hunting? I don't think this bill meets a significant need in our society, and this money could be better spent elsewhere.
    Like (30)
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    I am not completely against the bill but I thought these protected federal reserves were to help protect the animals of that region which may be endangered. If we can consider the approval for hunting etc. when certain species are overrunning an area, I'd be for the bill.
    Like (21)
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    The government owns too much of U.S. land that it is sickening. As long as these people aren't hunting in National Parks, let them go at it. Too much government restriction.
    Like (19)
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    Conservation trumps utilization at this point in history.
    Like (15)
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    Unless the land is used for government buildings the government shouldn't own any land
    Like (14)
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    If you can already do it, why not open it up?
    Like (10)
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    The government should not limit the amount of available public land from people that want to enjoy it in lawful ways. I see absolutely no reason to limit the amount of available government land for these purposes.
    Like (8)
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    Federal lands are there to protect animals, not endanger them.
    Like (6)
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    Duh! The key word is? Yes, the key is Federal Lands. Peoples lands are open to people. Course the Federal Bureaucracy wants it to mean the elite.
    Like (6)
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    The government should not financially support or subsidize hobbies. Let business buy or lease specific parcels of land at market rates and sell membership to those that want to practice their hobby (Hunting fishing eat)
    Like (6)
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    Yes, and Provisions for Handicap Use Also.
    Like (6)
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    The bill weakens existing rules against using lead bullets and shot. Lead ingested by predators and carrion eaters kills them: for example, efforts to restore California condors in the wild near the Grand Canyon are struggling because of the lead ammunition fragments these birds eat.
    Like (6)
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    Many endangered species live on these lands and should be protected, also there is a sufficient amount of land available for these activities
    Like (6)
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    Will these federal lands include Native American reservations, their grounds, and/or national parks?
    Like (5)
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    We need less killing of all things. Let's end subsidies for meat and dairy industry while we're at it. Let's make America vegan!
    Like (5)
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    American's over the years have fought hard for their country and the land she behold's. Any citizen from Huntsville, Al; moreover citizens all over the state should be able to enjoy the wildlife that their state owns regardless of wealth or social status.
    Like (5)
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    These public lands belong to the American citizens NOT the NRA! I have no issue with fishing, however, hunting and shooting ( thought they were the same) enough! We have families visiting public lands and endangered species on these public lands. We do not need some Buttheads deciding to "take a few pot shots" at anything!
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