Congress will be taking action on three bills directly affecting outdoor recreation in the Mid-Atlantic and elsewhere in the next two days. On Wednesday, March 13, the House Committee on Natural Resources will conduct the first in a series of hearings on reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. You can check the witness list, made available on Monday, March 11 at http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=322259.
The oversight hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building.
The law governs fishing in federal waters and expires at the end of September.
The committee stated that this year it wants to explore issues including but not necessarily limited to “basing annual catch limits on better science, requiring participant approval of new catch share programs, allowing rebuilding flexibility for certain fisheries, using National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration enforcement funds to acquire better fisheries information, requiring decisions on commercial fisheries disaster assistance in a timely manner, and requiring better transparency for the activities and decisions of the regional fishery management councils.”
And then on the next day, Thursday, March 14, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will take up and may vote on two measures that failed to get through Congress last year. One involves allowing the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to build a monument to the Peace Corps in or near the nation's capital. View the legislation, S. 230 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:S.+230:.
The other bill would create two national parks in Auburn NY and Maryland's Eastern Shore in honor of underground railroad leader Harriet Tubman. View the bill, S. 247, at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:S.+247:.