Popular sportsmen’s package headed for Congressional vote
By Chris Eger
The bill could increase access to federal lands for sportsmen and recreational shooters. (Photo: BLM)
A sweeping package of hunting and outdoor recreation reforms has cleared the U.S. Senate and could receive a floor vote in the House this week.
Introduced as S.47, The Natural Resources Management Act blends nearly 100 smaller measures and provisions that have been winding through Congress for the past half-decade. The bill was passed in a bipartisan 92-8 vote earlier this month and is on the House Calendar for Tuesday.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaskan Republican and chief sponsor of the measure, characterized the proposal as containing “huge wins for Americans” to include expanding “access for our sportsmen & women on federal lands for hunting, fishing, & other outdoor activities.”
The omnibus package addresses a number of priorities for hunters and recreational shooters. The most important of these is to direct Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands to be open for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting except under limited circumstances.
To help open up more areas, the bill reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund for public access enhancement projects. Further, it would allow BLM to lease or otherwise permit more shooting ranges on federal land