Legislation Introduced to Increase Recreational Fishing, Hunting Access

Legislation Introduced to Increase Recreational Fishing, Hunting Access
Legislation Introduced to Increase Recreational Fishing, Hunting Access

Legislation directs federal agencies to include fishing and hunting in their multi-use land management plans

Alexandria, VA – The sportfishing industry lauds the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, introduced by Representatives Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Dan Boren (D-OK), that will ensure that recreational fishing, hunting and shooting sports are supported as public activities on federal lands. The two members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus introduced the Act on Friday, September 2, 2011. This bipartisan legislation directs federal land management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to apply the multi-use mandates in their management plans to support public access to our nation’s public lands.

“While many of these agencies are most commonly known for their timber resources and energy development, federal lands also offer tremendous recreational fishing opportunities,” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Vice President Gordon Robertson. “Unfortunately access for traditional recreational activities on these lands is limited, as is public awareness of the problem. With lack of access being one of the most common reasons keeping anglers from enjoying a day on the water, this new legislation opens an opportunity to increase sportfishing participation, not just on public lands, but nation-wide.”

A recent Congressional report concluded that more than 35 million acres of land owned by the USFS and BLM have inadequate access for sportsmen and women. With respect to the agencies’ land management plans, this legislation directs managers to facilitate recreational fishing and hunting on public lands and waters. Additionally, the bill directs managers to evaluate how traditional outdoor activities will be impacted by the implementation of new regulations, management plans or land use initiatives.

“Recreation is the single largest economic output of national forests and grasslands, with 46.5 million anglers spending over $1.2 billion annually to enjoy recreational fishing on USFS lands,” commented Robertson. “It is astounding that with such high demand, access is still a barrier for millions of anglers. The Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act directs the USFS and BLM managers to not only promote recreational fishing and hunting access, but to further take advantage of one of the biggest economic drivers for the agencies and the rural communities near their lands.”


While the bill does not directly open federal land to recreational fishing and hunting, by directing managers to operate federal lands as “open-until-closed,” overall access will increase significantly. Robertson concluded, “This legislation will encourage recreational fishing, hunting and the shooting sports on public lands and waters and increase participation in some of our nation’s most cherished pastimes.”


The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 60 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for over one million people.


Recommended for You

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications. News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Perfect for competition or a day at the range. Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Costa

Costa's Award Winning Waterwoman Sunglasses

Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about all of the great features that made the new Waterwoman frame a big winner at the 2019 ICAST show as well as out on the water.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We all have our Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...

 Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the day; Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×