Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) reintroduced the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act, legislation to promote hunting traditions and ensure the continued successful funding of wildlife conservation through the purchase of hunting and recreational shooting equipment. The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Angus King (I-Maine).
“Hunting and shooting sports are woven into the fabric of Idaho’s history with generations of sportsmen and women passing down hunting traditions from father to son, mother to daughter. This is a legacy we must uphold and protect,” said Risch. “This legislation will make important updates to the Pittman-Robertson Fund to ensure future generations can carry on this treasured pastime of hunting and recreational shooting while conserving wildlife for outdoorsmen and women to enjoy and experience.”
“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation would like to thank Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Senator Risch for reintroducing this important legislation. With a decline in hunting license purchases across the country, it is critically important to provide flexibility for state agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and recreational shooters,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “This bipartisan legislation will help ensure America’s sportsmen and women continue to serve as a crucial source of funding for the vast majority of state wildlife conservation efforts that benefit the American public as a whole.”
“Updating the Pittman-Robertson Fund to more closely align with the needs and expectations of today’s public would allow flexibility for state fish and wildlife agencies that presently does not exist. Without raising user fees, the flexibility in how the money can be utilized for the recruitment of sportsmen and women will provide conservation funding in the future,” said Ed Carter, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “This bill, if passed, will help ensure that funding for wildlife conservation will keep pace with the demands of our citizens and our communities, while still continuing to meet our traditional wildlife conservation objectives. We thank Senator Risch for his leadership and for the recognition that from his home state of Idaho to my home state of Tennessee and beyond, the state fish and wildlife agencies need the flexibility provided in this bill to more effectively communicate with our hunters and the public about important wildlife conservation issues and the opportunities to participate in hunter education programs in the same manner that we serve our fishing and boating communities.”
Background: Under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, tax revenue from the sale of shooting and archery equipment generates funding for hunter education and wildlife conservation. This “pay to play” system has provided a symbiotic relationship between sportsmen and the resources they use for hunting and recreational shooting.
The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act will update the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 to ensure continued successful funding for wildlife conservation that benefits all Americans. The updates will extend existing financial and technical support to the states to include hunting and recreational shooting promotion and recruitment.
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