On March 30, just three days after the introduction of the Sportsmen’s Act in the Senate, the Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee passed S. 733 with a voice vote. Bill sponsor Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) serves as the Committee Chairwoman, and cosponsors Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), Senator Jim Risch (ID), and Senator Joe Manchin (WV) are also Committee members.
The Sportsmen’s Act includes provisions that would increase access to public lands for outdoor recreation, and enhance opportunities for pursuing hunting, angling, and recreational shooting traditions.
Sen. Heinrich recognized the work by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) to advance this legislation. “The Sportsmen’s Act has been a long-time in the making. I especially want to thank Chairwoman Murkowski for her partnership in leading this bill as well as Senators Risch, Manchin, Fischer, and Heitkamp for their leadership of the Sportsmen’s Caucus,” said Sen. Heinrich. “As sportsmen face even more locked gates and no hunting signs, it’s more important than ever that we keep our public lands open and welcoming to hunters and anglers, and that’s what this bill does.”
CSC Vice-Chairs Senators Deb Fischer (NE) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) were also original cosponsors of S. 733. “I’m proud to once again join my colleagues to promote America’s hunting, fishing, and conservation heritage through the Sportsmen’s Act,” said Sen. Fischer. “This legislation includes measures to enhance opportunities for Nebraska sportsmen and women. As Vice Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, I am committed to preserving outdoor recreation for future generations to enjoy.”
“North Dakotans have so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through hunting and fishing—and the bipartisan bill I helped reintroduce today would expand those opportunities further,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “Whether it’s ice fishing in the winter or pheasant hunting in the fall, getting out and enjoying nature sets our state apart. By improving access to public lands, creating more shooting ranges, and providing for input from sportsmen on federal policies, our bipartisan bill would make sure future generations have the same chance to take advantage of the great outdoors.”
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- Lack of access (18.64%)
- Expenses (equipment and licenses/stamps/fees) (16.95%)
- Burdensome or confusing regulations (10.17%)
- Overcrowded fishing locations (5.08%)
- Poor fishing experience due to low fish populations or small fish (18.64%)
- Conflicts with other users (e.g. boaters) (3.39%)
- Lack of time (27.12%)