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The Sportsmen’s Act…2012?

Dear industry members and fellow anglers,

And so it goes. As the number of legislative days in the 112th Congress dwindles, so does the chance that the most comprehensive sportsmen’s legislative package in decades will pass. The bill, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525), is lodged in the log jam of the U.S. Senate where passage looked so promising on November 26 but fell victim to a partisan dispute over nothing to do with the bill and then after patching-up that problem became hostage over amending language that most in the conservation and hunting and fishing community could never accept.

To have legislation supported by one of the largest and most diverse coalitions of national conservation, fishing, hunting and public land advocacy groups assembled in my memory come so close is not just disappointing but tragic and makes one ponder what it really takes to get a bill passed in this Congressional atmosphere. That is the shame of it all and shame on both sides of the aisle for creating that toxic atmosphere. I want to thank all the members of the sportfishing community who wrote and called their Senators’ office. You got their attention and made a difference as many Senate members and staff commented on the support for the bill.

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 could still pass but that is a dimming possibility in this Congress and I am sure organizations and anglers across the nation will support the Sportsmen’s Act of 2013. Stay tuned. For a concise summary of the circumstances leading to the bill’s failure see Bob Marshall’s piece in Field and Stream below.

Gordon Robertson

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