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Critical fishing bill up for vote now

The most comprehensive package of legislation that would impact fishing across America could be voted on today in the U.S. Senate. As marine dealers, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines watching this one – your action is needed now.

As fishing legislation goes, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is unprecedented in that combines a whopping 19 bills that impact the nation’s sportfishing community, as well as recreational shooters and hunters. It is historic legislation that provides increased access, habitat conservation and improved fish and wildlife management, according to KeepAmericaFishing.org.

Strategically, the co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and John Thune, R-S.D., introduced the Sportsmen’s Act last Friday as an amendment to the Senate’s 2012 farm bill.. The Senate is expected to vote on its inclusion this week, possibly today. Getting the Sportsmen’s Act passed would represent one of the biggest advancements for recreational fishing in history.

For example, the Sportsmen’s Act package includes two bipartisan bills that recently passed the House of Representatives as a part of their Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (HR 4089). The legislation establishes an exemption for traditional fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act and clarifies the exemption that already exists for the shooting and hunting sports. Notably, the EPA has been petitioned three times in the last 18 months by anti-sportsmen groups to ban fishing tackle and ammunition containing lead.

Further, the House-passed legislation also contains a high priority provision requiring increased angler and hunter access to federal lands. “We see ongoing attempts to expand regulations that would restrict angler access,” says NMMA president Thom Dammrich who also serves as chairman of the ASA Advocacy Committee providing strategic direction to Keep America Fishing, “and the time has come to legislatively reverse those actions and open more federal public waters and lands to recreational fishing opportunities.” This legislation directs public land managers to facilitate recreational fishing and hunting on public lands and waters through their agencies’ land management plans.

Also included in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is the Billfish Conservation Act (S.1451). It will conserve declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with an exception for the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve their traditional fisheries.

Not convinced to take action, yet? Also included in the Sportsmen’s Act is the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S.1201). It would authorize the new National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale. Moreover, another section of the bill will require the Department of the Interior to develop a report on its “Idle Iron” policy (that requires the removal of idle drilling platform) in order to develop a coordination strategy between agencies and states. These platforms represent the world’s largest network of artificial reefs and provide habitat for marine species on an otherwise barren seafloor in the Gulf.

There’s a lot more, but are you ready to engage now? You can do it two ways: (1) Call your two Senator’s offices and urge them to support your marine business and America’s sportsmen by voting for the the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 or (2) go to www.keepamericafishing.org and look for the quick link at the bottom of the page to send an email to your two Senators.

Why not have your employees do the same. But it must be done TODAY. The Senate could literally be voting any minute and our industry needs a win on this one.

Senate. As marine dealers, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines watching this one – your action is needed now.

As fishing legislation goes, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is unprecedented in that combines a whopping 19 bills that impact the nation’s sportfishing community, as well as recreational shooters and hunters. It is historic legislation that provides increased access, habitat conservation and improved fish and wildlife management, according to KeepAmericaFishing.org.

Strategically, the co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and John Thune, R-S.D., introduced the Sportsmen’s Act last Friday as an amendment to the Senate’s 2012 farm bill.. The Senate is expected to vote on its inclusion this week, possibly today. Getting the Sportsmen’s Act passed would represent one of the biggest advancements for recreational fishing in history.

For example, the Sportsmen’s Act package includes two bipartisan bills that recently passed the House of Representatives as a part of their Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (HR 4089). The legislation establishes an exemption for traditional fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act and clarifies the exemption that already exists for the shooting and hunting sports. Notably, the EPA has been petitioned three times in the last 18 months by anti-sportsmen groups to ban fishing tackle and ammunition containing lead.

Further, the House-passed legislation also contains a high priority provision requiring increased angler and hunter access to federal lands. “We see ongoing attempts to expand regulations that would restrict angler access,” says NMMA president Thom Dammrich who also serves as chairman of the ASA Advocacy Committee providing strategic direction to Keep America Fishing, “and the time has come to legislatively reverse those actions and open more federal public waters and lands to recreational fishing opportunities.” This legislation directs public land managers to facilitate recreational fishing and hunting on public lands and waters through their agencies’ land management plans.

Also included in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is the Billfish Conservation Act (S.1451). It will conserve declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with an exception for the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve their traditional fisheries.

Not convinced to take action, yet? Also included in the Sportsmen’s Act is the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S.1201). It would authorize the new National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale. Moreover, another section of the bill will require the Department of the Interior to develop a report on its “Idle Iron” policy (that requires the removal of idle drilling platform) in order to develop a coordination strategy between agencies and states. These platforms represent the world’s largest network of artificial reefs and provide habitat for marine species on an otherwise barren seafloor in the Gulf.

There’s a lot more, but are you ready to engage now? You can do it two ways: (1) Call your two Senator’s offices and urge them to support your marine business and America’s sportsmen by voting for the the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 or (2) go to www.keepamericafishing.org and look for the quick link at the bottom of the page to send an email to your two Senators.

Why not have your employees do the same. But it must be done TODAY. The Senate could literally be voting any minute and our industry needs a win on this one.

Comments

One comment on “Critical fishing bill up for vote now

  1. Doug Reimel

    Wow! nineteen bills packed into one. Just tells me the frosting is going to taste great. But the cake is going to very bitter. Is there a Federal Grant we can apply for so each and every dealer can hire someone just to keep track and respond to all the ways the Federal, State, and local goverment is taking control of everything in our lives, all in the name of the Feds know what is best for each and everyone of us individually. Before you know it you will have to hire a government employee to take your family boating on your own boat.

    WOW!

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