Skip to main content

Legislation Introduced to Increase Recreational Fishing, Hunting Access

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

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

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.

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Winchester Big Bore: Backcountry Bear Protection

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

Ruger American Now Chambered in 7mm PRC

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

Marlin is Back! Classic Hunting Rifles Make Return

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Learn

NWTF's Passion for Wild Turkey Conservation Still Burns After 50 Years

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

First Look: Leupold's BX-4 Range HD Rangefinding Binos

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Browning's Max Point, Silver Series Rifle Ammunition

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

New Hunting Ammo from Remington: 360 Buckhammer

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

New from Browning: X-Bolt Pro LR McMillan

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

New Hunting Blades from Buck Knives

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Hornady's Hot New 7mm PRC Cartridge: SHOT 2023

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Gear

Hawke Optics' Frontier LRF Laser Range Finding Binoculars

LaRue's Ethan Alexander talks about the Siete's features with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller at SHOT Show 2023 in Las ...
Guns

New from LaRue Tactical: Siete Chassis Rifle

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now