WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate this week secured final Senate passage of key provisions of the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act. The legislation was included as an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which passed the Senate by a vote of 85 to 12.
Risch was an original cosponsor of the bill, authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
Access to public lands is the number one issue for America's sportsmen and women. The Sportsmen's Act includes a broad array of bipartisan measures to enhance opportunities for hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts, reauthorize key conservation programs, improve access to public lands, and help boost the outdoor recreation economy. A list of the measures in the package is available, here.
“The passage of this bill ensures that the more than a half-of-a-million sportsmen and sportswomen in the state of Idaho can enjoy greater access to our public lands,” said Risch, co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “Hunting and fishing give us a great reason to be in the great outdoors and a great reason to hand down traditions, and I am glad to say that the passage of these sportsmen’s provisions will ensure the protection of hunting and fishing rights for Idahoans while working to conserve our treasured lands for future generations.”
"There's no question that America's sportsmen and women deserve greater access to our public lands. With the Senate's approval of my broad, bipartisan energy bill, fishermen, hunters, recreational shooters and other outdoor enthusiasts are now significantly closer to that goal," said Murkowski. "This a big step forward to allowing long-held traditions to be passed down from generation to generation without the federal government getting in the way."
"The Sportsmen's Act has been a long time in the making, and I'm proud to lead this bipartisan effort alongside Chairman Murkowski. After previous attempts stalled on sportsmen's bills in recent years, we worked hard to find areas of agreement, and we didn't allow controversial amendments from either side of the aisle to derail our effort," said Heinrich. "Traditions like hunting, hiking, camping, and fishing are among the pillars of Western culture and a thriving outdoor recreation economy. This bipartisan legislation will enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation and reauthorize key conservation programs. It will also go a long way toward solving many of the problems hunters and anglers face in accessing and using our nation's public lands. I am hopeful that, thanks to our vote today, our kids and grandkids will be catching trout and chasing mule deer for many years to come."
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