Hoeven Worked to Pass Key Elements of Sportsmen's Act as Part of Energy Bill Passed Today

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate has passed the bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Hoeven, who serves on the Senate Energy Committee and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, worked to pass the legislation through committee and get it included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which passed earlier today. The measure, which passed the committee in November, reauthorizes important conservation programs, improves access to federal lands and helps to boost the outdoor recreation economy.

“Hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation activities are an important part of both North Dakota’s heritage and economy,” said Hoeven. “The Sportsmen’s Act will help improve opportunities for our hunters and anglers, while also helping to grow this dynamic sector of our economy.”

The senator has long worked to pass the measure as part of the Senate Energy bill. At a Senate Energy Committee meeting last March, the senator stressed the economic benefits of the sportsmen’s legislation, which would increase access to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Jeffrey Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, testified that the U.S. outdoor recreation industry has a collective annual economic impact of $90 billion and that would increase if the legislation passed.

The Sportsmen’s Act contains provisions that:

• Protect the public’s right to recreational hunting, fishing and shooting on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands.
• Prevent the National Park Service from restricting the lawful transport of bows and crossbows through national parks. Currently, firearms can be transported through national parks, but bows cannot.
• Helps states build and maintain public land target ranges on Forest Service and BLM land.

Hoeven has been a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus since January 2011.