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Protecting the Rights of American Sportsmen and Women

April 18th, 2012

MUCC applauds the passage of the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R.4089) yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, which passed with bipartisan support (274-146), will protect the traditional right of American sportsmen and women to fish and hunt from bureaucratic restrictions and limitations. It will remove government roadblocks to these activities on certain public lands and guard against new regulations that threaten to block or limit access to hunting and fishing.

We thank co-sponsors of the legislation, including Michigan’s own Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-1), for moving this through in short order and hope the U.S. Senate will respond quickly as well.

The official title of H.R. 4089  say it all – “To protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.”  The bill recognizes that diminishing opportunities to recreationally fish, hunt, and shoot has an adverse effect on the number of participating sportsmen and women, and consequently an adverse effect on fish and wildlife conservation funding. The bill would ensure planning on federal lands must include opportunities to engage in recreational fishing, hunting, and sport shooting. It would also reaffirm and clarify existing law to keep the Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead in ammunition or sport fishing gear, which will protect against lawsuits and bureaucratic maneuvers aimed at undermining current law. Follow this link to learn more about what the bill DOESN’T do.

MUCC has worked closely with the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) to urge the passage of HR 4089 and will continue to do so. Michigan has already seen its share of attempts to block or restrict hunting, fishing, and shooting from federal public lands in Michigan, including the most recent saga of the Huron-Manistee National Forest plan.

We urge our members to call U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, asking them and their Senate colleagues to take this issue up and put HR 4089 on President Obama’s desk without delay!

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