With the bipartisan passage of HR 2406, the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, in the House of Representatives today, the Boone and Crockett Club reflects on the importance of conservation legislation. The Club and many other conservation groups support the SHARE Act for its pro-sportsmen's titles that will help ensure outdoor hunting traditions are preserved, protected and promoted.
"Conservation is a complex business. It always has been," said Bob Model, Chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club. "Like most things worthwhile to people, wildlife and their habitats, it takes principled, common sense legislation to make things happen."
The Club has a long history in shaping new laws for conservation and proposing beneficial legislation, while blocking ill-advised regulations that inhibit conservation efforts.
"This was something our founder, Theodore Roosevelt, insisted upon," Model explained. "He would invite experts to present problems to the Club and propose possible solutions. When he told Club members, 'We should do something about this,' what he really meant was pass legislation while inspiring public opinion. This legacy permeates our organization today."
Part of the legacy started by Roosevelt is facilitation and coalition building; bringing the best and brightest together to get the language right and the legislation through the proper channels.
The SHARE Act follows a long list of legislation which has supported everything from the birth of the conservation movement to the recovery of wildlife populations; the establishment of our expert land and wildlife agencies, as well as the funding mechanism for conservation. Notable conservation legislation includes:
• Yellowstone Protection Act of 1894
• Organic Act of 1897, establishing national forests
• Lacey Act of 1900, end of commercial market hunting
• National Wildlife Refuge System Act of 1903
• Migratory Bird Act of 1913
• Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933, the first Farm Bill
• Duck Stamp Act of 1934, wetland and waterfowl conservation funding
• Pittman-Robertson Act of 1934, conservation funding
• Wilderness Act of 1964
• Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968
• Endangered Species Act of 1973
• Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003
• Sportsman Heritage Act of 2011
• Making Public Lands Public of 2013
"HR 2406 accomplishes much-needed specific remedies," Model added. "It addresses some of the most pressing concerns of American hunters and recreational shooters, including access to public lands and protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle."
The new legislation also clears up paperwork problems with importing legally taken trophies and secures important programs such as the Pittman-Roberson Fund, the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Council and Federal Land Transaction Program. The Boone and Crockett Club credits a long list of hard working partners for passage of the SHARE Act and now has its sights set on Senate passage and signing by the President.