Conservation Leaders Support Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2017

American Woodcock Society * Archery Trade Association * Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies * Campfire Club of America * Catch-A-Dream Foundation * Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation * Conservation Force * Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports * Delta Waterfowl * Ducks Unlimited * Houston Safari Club * Izaak Walton League * Mule Deer Foundation * National Wild Turkey Federation * North American Grouse Partnership * Pheasants Forever * Quail Forever * Quality Deer Management Association * Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation * Ruffed Grouse Society  Sportsmen’s Alliance * Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership * Whitetails Unlimited * Wild Sheep Foundation * Wildlife Forever * Wildlife Management Institute

 

November 6, 2017

Honorable Rob Bishop, Chairman
House Natural Resources Committee
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515
Honorable Raul Grijalva, Ranking Member
House Natural Resources Committee
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515

 

Dear Chairman Bishop and Cong. Grijalva,

 

Our organizations represent millions of hunters, anglers, wildlife enthusiasts, and other conservationists. We strongly support The Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act of 2017, HR 2591, which will authorize the use of certain Pittman-Robertson (P-R) funds for state fish and wildlife agencies to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and recreational shooters. The Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Act provides this authorization for recruitment, retention and reactivation of anglers and boaters, and it is past time that the P-R Act does likewise. We respectfully urge that you schedule a hearing on HR 2591 so that it can be expeditiously reported to the House floor.

Hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and boating provide vital and foundational funds to the state fish and wildlife agencies to deliver the conservation of fish, wildlife and its habitat on the ground, and to sustainably manage fish and wildlife for not only hunters and anglers but for all of our citizens who enjoy our natural resources and the outdoors. State hunting and angling licenses are matched with federal excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, and fishing tackle respectively, and apportioned to the states for the conservation of fish, wildlife and its habitat, and providing hunting, angling, recreational shooting , and boating opportunities. These funds provide the vast majority of the budget for state fish and wildlife agencies to conserve all species of fish and wildlife for all of our citizens, and future generations.

HR 2591 would define recruitment, retention and reactivation as it relates to hunters and recreational shooters, and remove existing statutory prohibitions against the use of P-R funds for these purposes. It also clarifies that P-R funds can be used on the development, construction, and maintenance of public shooting ranges that aren’t explicitly used for hunter education programs. Absent the sanction of these uses of P-R funds for these purposes, we face the reality that hunters may continue to decline, thus threatening funding for the conservation of fish, wildlife and its habitat by the states, which have principal authority for fish and wildlife within their borders, including on federal lands. While the number of recreational shooters is on the increase, we must also accommodate the needs of this growing sport, and HR 2591 would allow the states to do that.

HR 2591 is very complementary to the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act which is Title II of HR 3668 (SHARE), which we also support. We defer (in lieu of section 4 (a) (B) of HR 2591)  to the provisions in HR 3668 section 203 of Title II which provides that a state may use up to 10% of its’ P-R section 4(b) funds , matched at a 90:10 federal: state match, to develop, construct and maintain shooting ranges on public lands. The other provisions of both bills are complementary.

Thank you very much for your consideration of our request, and we are committed to working with you to successfully move HR 2591 to the House floor.

 

American Woodcock Society

Archery Trade Association

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Campfire Club of America

Catch-A-Dream Foundation

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Conservation Force

Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports

Delta Waterfowl

Ducks Unlimited

Houston Safari Club

Izaak Walton League

Mule Deer Foundation

National Wild Turkey Federation

North American Grouse Partnership

Pheasants Forever

Quail Forever

Quality Deer Management Association

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Ruffed Grouse Society

Sportsmen’s Alliance

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Whitetails Unlimited

Wild Sheep Foundation

Wildlife Forever

Wildlife Management Institute

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