Fishing, hunting and shooting on federal land would become a presumptive allowed activity under legislation introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, January 29. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S.170, which would “recognize the heritage of recreational fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting on federal public land and ensure continued opportunities for those activities.”
The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.
In an introductory statement on the Senate floor, Murkowski said that 39 organizations representing the hunting, recreational fishing, shooting and wildlife conservation communities endorsed the bill.
“We are talking about traditional American activities, and they are activities that deserve the same consideration as other traditional uses of our public lands,” Murkowski said.
Hunting, shooting and fishing could be prohibited in certain areas only if the unit adopted a policy banning them. “It is important to note, though, that this would not give these activities special priority but merely level the current playing field between these traditional activities and other uses of our public lands,” Murkowski pointed out.
Unlike previous versions of the bill, it would not include national parks, national wildlife refuges and Indian trust lands. Environmental organizations including the National Parks Conservation Association and Wilderness Society had objected to including them.
Read Murkowski's statement at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r113:4:./temp/~r113p8dmBT:e77892:.