“Last night, the Senate failed to include the “lands package” in the continuing resolution it passed to fund the federal government through February 8, 2019. RMEF worked diligently with key Senators throughout the day and night to gain approval for the package, which included permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and sportsmen provisions to increase public access to public lands and designation of resources to state wildlife agencies to recruit and retain hunters. Several hundred RMEF members contacted their members of Congress to encourage them to vote for the lands and sportsmen bills. I’d like to thank each and every one of RMEF’s members who took the time to weigh in on these important issues.
RMEF is extremely disappointed the efforts of several Senators to broker an agreement on the “lands package” were unsuccessful. However, republicans Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Richard Burr (R-NC) and democrats Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) negotiated an agreement with Senate and House leadership to “fast-track” a vote on the package in early January that will bypass the committee process. While it’s not the solution we were hoping for, we are encouraged LWCF reauthorization and key sportsmen’s provisions have a very good chance of being passed next month.”
Kyle Weaver, President & CEO
Congress is preparing to vote on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through February 8. There is significant bipartisan support to attach a “lands package” to the resolution, including permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund with three percent of the program’s resources dedicated to public access projects and a “sportsmen’s package” of hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and outdoor recreation provisions.
The “sportsmen’s package” directs federal land management agencies to identify opportunities to provide or improve public access to public lands for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation; allow state wildlife agencies to use additional Pittman-Robertson funds to recruit hunters and recreational shooters and to develop shooting ranges; publish information about litigation against natural resource development projects and challenges to the Endangered Species Act under the Equal Access to Justice Act; allow federal agencies to utilize qualified volunteers for wildlife management on certain federal lands; and requires certain federal lands to be open for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting unless specifically closed.
Please contact your Senator and Representative immediately and ask them to vote in favor of including the “lands package” in the continuing resolution.