U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) yesterday announced that he is cosponsoring the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. The bill, which was introduced by Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) yesterday, includes policies to enhance opportunities for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. It would also make it easier for businesses involved in outdoor recreation to grow and hire.
The House of Representatives passed similar legislation this afternoon.
“Nevadans have a long history of hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and other activities. Outdoor recreation is an important economic driver in the Silver State, and this bipartisan legislation ensures continued opportunities. I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in collaborating on this and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues in order to move the bill forward,” said Senator Dean Heller.
The bill has ten cosponsors: Senators Mark Begich (AK), John Boozman (AR), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (ND), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Rob Portman (OH), Mark Pryor (AR), Jon Tester (MT) and David Vitter (LA).
Measures Heller has previously supported included in the Sportsmen’s Act:
- Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization (S.368) reauthorizes FLTFA, a program that enables the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to sell public land to private owners, counties, companies and others for ranching, community development and other projects. This “Land for Land” approach creates jobs and generates funding for Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (USFWS) to acquire critical in-holdings from willing sellers. Nevada has benefited from the FLTFA more than any other state, with over $88 million in BLM land sales and $35 million in Secretarial approvals for conservation projects since FLTFA’s enactment in 2000.
- Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act (S.170) requires the BLM and the Forest Service to keep their lands open to hunting, recreational fishing, and shooting, and facilitate the use of and access to federal public lands and waters for these activities.
- Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (S.1212) enables states to allocate a greater proportion of federal funding to create and maintain shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands. The bill also encourages federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges.