For Immediate Release
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee improves and passes important fisheries legislation
Alexandria, VA – January 20, 2016 – The sportfishing industry applauds the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for advancing the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. This bill, which will improve fisheries conservation and recreational fishing access throughout the country, has now cleared all committees of jurisdiction in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and now awaits action on the floor of both chambers.
“From the sportfishing industry’s standpoint, passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act is a top priority and today’s action gets us one step closer to enactment,” said Scott Gudes, vice president of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “We greatly appreciate Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) leadership in moving forward this important legislation that benefits the nation’s 46 million anglers and nearly one million jobs supported by recreational fishing.”
Originally sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 contains provisions that will benefit our nation’s sportsmen and women by providing increased access to our public lands and waters; protecting traditional fishing equipment from unnecessary regulation; and improving fish and wildlife conservation.
The portion of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee this morning contains several important top priorities for the sportfishing industry that were included in the underlying bill or amended into it during the hearing. These include:
“We especially thank the committee members and other senators who have championed the Sportsmen’s Act for recognizing that the EPA has more important things to consider than unwarranted restrictions on what is in a fisherman’s tackle box,” said Gudes.
“With both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee having passed their portions of the Sportsmen’s Act, we are now ready for the bills to be merged and considered on the Senate floor,” noted Gudes. “It’s important, however, for the recreational fishing community to know that our work is far from over. Similar legislation has fallen victim to partisan politics in past sessions of Congress.”
“We must continue to remind Congress of how important recreational fishing is to conservation and the economy, and to urge Congress to finally enact these legislative changes to improve the values that recreational fishing provides to the nation,” Gudes concluded.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.