NRA and dozens of other sportsmen's groups are supporting the Hunting Heritage Protection Act, which aims to recognize the heritage of hunting and provide opportunities for continued hunting on federal public land. The act is made up of companion bills, SB 1348, sponsored by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and HR 3046, sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.).
“This legislation simply seeks to protect the rights of sportsmen to hunt on federal public lands all across America,” said Chambliss. “Hunting is truly an American tradition and a key component to our conservation and wildlife management practices. By maintaining designated levels of federal land for hunting, we are affording thousands of men, women, boys and girls the opportunity to enjoy this great American pastime.”
Specifically, the measure would require federal lands, to the maximum extent practicable, to be managed in a way that supports, promotes, and enhances hunting opportunities. The bill also calls on federal agencies managing federal lands to submit an annual report to Congress describing any limitation of access for hunting on federal lands. Additionally, agencies would be required to submit prior written notification to Congress before any limitation affecting access to hunting on 5,000 acres or more becomes effective.
“This is a vital step toward preserving America’s hunting heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. “Lack of access to hunting land is a major challenge our hunters face and is also a major factor that causes many to give up hunting. This bipartisan measure will make it easier for more people to enjoy this great American pastime.”
NRA is also signing onto a joint letter of support from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, a group of more than 40 organizations that cooperate to conserve wildlife habitat and protect the traditions of hunting and trapping.
Co-sponsors of the legislation include: U.S. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Hunters are urged to contact their representatives and senators and advocate support for the Hunting Heritage Protection Act.