Cyrus Baird For Immediate Release: 05/08/2018
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed several bills, including the Modernizing Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2017 (H.R. 2591) with unanimous consent.
H.R. 2591, introduced by Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), would allow state fish and wildlife agencies the flexibility they need to address the declining number of hunters by using existing funds from the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Fund to increase hunting and recreational shooting opportunities, and by clarifying that one of the purposes of these funds is to provide financial and technical assistance to the states for hunter recruitment and retention, hunter education programs, and education programs to the non-hunting public.
For nearly 80 years, sportsmen and women have been the driving force for conservation funding in the United States to the tune of over $10 billion through excise taxes placed on firearms, ammunition and other items. This funding program has unquestionably served as the life-blood for wildlife conservation in this nation since 1937.
For the past several decades, however, the number of licensed hunters across the United States has been on a steady and precipitous decline, with recent surveys showing a drop in over 2 million hunters since 2011. This recent accelerated decline is alarming and should be viewed as a wakeup call to not only state agencies, industry, and conservation groups, but sportsmen and women everywhere as sportsmen and women play a vital role in the United States economy.
“The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports is extremely pleased to see Modernizing Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2017 pass out of the House Committee on Natural Resources” said Cyrus Baird, Programs Director for the Council. “Allowing state agencies the flexibility to better recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and target shooters will ensure our American system of conservation funding remains strong for generations to come.”
“Today’s markup brings us another step forward in being better stewards of our natural resources and restoring local input in land management decisions. I look forward to working with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in bringing these bills to the House floor for a vote,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said.
The House Committee on Natural Resources’ Federal Lands Subcommittee previously held a hearing on H.R. 2591 back in February.
Purpose: Ensure support for and active participation in hunting and the shooting sports for future generations.
Vision: America where hunting and the shooting sports are an integral part of mainstream culture and where hunters and shooters are widely recognized as premiere conservation contributors.
Mission: Facilitate the promotion and growth of hunting and the shooting sports and the education of the public on the contributions that hunters and shooters make towards wildlife conservation.