A recent flurry of legislation to benefit conservation and sporting opportunities shows that lawmakers are listening, perhaps more than ever, to the concerns of hunters, anglers, sport shooters and trappers, according to the Boone and Crockett Club.
Boone and Crockett has emphasized sound environmental policy since Theodore Roosevelt founded the club in 1887. It remains the most active hunter-based organization in Washington D.C. today.
Along with other sportsmen groups, including the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, National Shooting Sports Foundation, American Wildlife Conservation Partners and others, the Boone and Crockett Club is leading efforts to ensure that sportsmen's issues are considered in key legislation, such as:
• Farm Bill--Now awaiting the President's signature, this massive legislation features necessary spending cuts while still sustaining agriculture and improved forest, wetland, grassland and wildlife programs.
• H.R. 3962--Newly introduced, the "Making Public Lands Public Access Act" would guarantee funding for improving access to existing public lands.
• H.R. 3590--The "Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act" has passed the House. This legislation includes eight titles that would expand and protect hunting, target shooting and angling opportunities, including permanently guaranteeing hunting on nearly 500 million acres of public lands.
• H.R. 2919--The "Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act" has passed the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would create transparency and public disclosure of facts and expenses related to increasing lawsuits against federal agencies that manage land and natural resources.
"Our community is more organized and engaged than anytime in history," said Boone and Crockett Club President William (Bill) Demmer. "As sportsmen, we should all feel good that our voice is being heard at the highest levels of government, and that the right things are being done for wildlife, habitat and our outdoor heritage."
Early Boone and Crockett members were instrumental in establishing and protecting national parks, founding the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and National Wildlife Refuge system, fostering the vital Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the federal Duck Stamp program and developing the frameworks of modern game laws.
Since the 1930s, Boone and Crockett has actively supported vital conservation measures in Farm Bills, including the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and others.
Boone and Crockett members also helped to pass the National Wilderness Preserve Act in 1964, and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.