A vital piece of legislation composed of 4 bills, introduced in 2012 that focused on protecting and advancing our hunting, and recreational angling and shooting heritage.
An unprecedented package of pro-sportsmen's legislation is currently making its way through Congress. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has spent years working with the leaders and other members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) to advance the common sense provisions contained in the legislation.
H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, represents the first time in more than a decade that pro-sportsmen legislators have a legitimate chance of passing bundled legislation that will benefit our nation’s hunters, anglers and wildlife.
H.R. 4089 is a compilation of four different bills (H.R. 2834, H.R. 3440, H.R. 991, and H.R. 1558) that promote and protect our hunting, recreational fishing and shooting heritage. Summarily, H.R. 4089 includes the four seperate bills detailed below:
Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (H.R.2834, S. 2066)
- Recognizes the benefits of our hunting and fishing heritage and protects access to Federal public lands in pursuit of these activities.
- After acknowledging that “recreational anglers and hunters have been and continue to be among the foremost supporters of sound fish and wildlife management and conservation in the United States” and defining hunting and recreational fishing as “environmentally acceptable and beneficial activities,” this portion of H.R. 4089 would require the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, recreational fishing and shooting and facilitate the use of and access to federal public lands and waters for these activities, pursuant to reasonable exceptions.
- Access to areas to participate in these activities is one of the top reasons cited as to why sportsmen stop participating in their sports. CSF supports and endorses the perfecting language designed to address potential unintended consequences, as reflected in the amended H.R. 2834 as reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee.
Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 3440)
- This portion of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act protects the ability of Americans to enjoy recreational shooting on public lands.
- Specifically, this portion of the bill says:
- "Subject to valid existing rights, National Monument land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management shall be open to access and use for recreational shooting."
- Therefore, if a federal land agency needs to close a portion of land to recreational shooting they are required to “submit to Congress a report detailing the location and extent of, and evidence justifying, such a closure or restriction” and to meet other criteria designed to keep all available lands open to sportsmen and recreational shooters.
- This portion of H.R. 4089 also instructs Federal land managers to manage lands “in a manner that supports, promotes and enhances recreational shooting opportunities. . . .”
Polar Bear Conservation Fairness Act (H.R. 991, S. 1066)
- This portion of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act permits the importation of polar bear trophies taken legally by hunters in Canada through an amendment to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
- If this bill were to be enacted, up to $41,000 would be generated for polar bear conservation and research which would aid in future polar bear conservation efforts.
Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 1558, S. 838)
- This portion of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act protects the use of traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle.
- There is no scientific evidence to suggest the lead contained in ammunition and fishing tackle is having an adverse impact at the population or ecosystem level, and a ban on lead in sporting equipment would unduly burden both industry and sportsmen alike. This component of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act amends the Toxic Substances Control Act to exclude traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. This portion covers a variety of hunting and fishing components that will be exempt because they are subject to a federal excise tax which serves as a revenue source for conservation efforts at the state level.
The four components of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act represent years of work done by the CSF, the bipartisan co-chairs of the CSC and from many other members of the CSC. Other organizations vital to this effort include: The National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Boone and Crockett Club and the American Sportfishing Association.
Take Action: On April 17, 2012, H.R. 4089 passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote. A bundled package of pro-sportsmen legislation was subsequently assembled in the Senate in the hopes of inclusion as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill. However, the amendment was not included in the final version of the Senate version of the Farm Bill. Please contact your Senator and urge them to advance H.R. 4089.
- Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 1558)
- Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838)
- Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2011 (H.R. 991)
- Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2011 (S. 1066)
- Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (H.R. 2834)
- Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (S. 2066)
- Recreational Shooting Protection Act (H.R. 3440)
- Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089)
|On July 10, 2013 during a Breakfast Briefing hosted by CSF, the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus House Leadership released a list of priorities for the 113th Congress.||Download file|
|On June 3, 2013, Member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Representative Duncan Hunter and Vice-Chair of the CSC, Tim Walz sent out a Dear Colleague letter seeking original cosponsors for the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. This legislation would amend the Pittman-Robertson Act by adjusting the funding limitations in order to make more funds available to the states for a longer period of time for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges.||Download file|
|On May 9, 21 conservation organizations, including CSF, signed onto a letter in support of H.R. 1825. This legislation is vital to ensure future generations have the same opportunities to hunt and fish on America’s public lands as we have had.||Download file|
|On November 1, 2012, CSF and 47 other conservation organizations submitted a letter to the Senate leadership urging them to support S. 3525.||Download file|
|On September 27, 2012, Members of Congress sent a letter to the Director of Fish & Wildlife Services Dan Ashe regarding the upcoming release of a U.S. proposal to transfer the polar bear from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I.||Download file|
|On April 12, 2012, CSF and 37 other conservation organizations submitted a letter to the House leadership urging them to support H.R. 4089.||Download file|
|On May 7, 2012, CSF and 40 other conservation organizations submitted a letter to the Senate leadership urging them to support H.R. 4089.||Download file|
|On June 7, 2012, Full descriptions of the bills included in the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 as an amendment to the 2012 Senate Farm Bill for 2012 were released.||Download file|
|The Sportmen's Act of 2012 was introduced on September 10, 2012 in the Senate. Click here to read the descriptions of the provisions included in this legislation.||Download file|
|As of September 13, 2012, 21 sportsmen’s organizations have signed on to a letter in support of S. 3525. A final version of the letter will become available on Tuesday, September 18. Additional organizations will be added to the letter up until that time.||Download file|
|On September 17, 2012, 29 sportsmen's organizations, including CSF, signed onto a letter in support of S. 3525 - the Sportsmen's Act of 2012.||Download file|