DALLAS – Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 23 introduced the Sportsmen’s Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act to enhance hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational opportunities.

DSC is cheering the introduction of H.R. 3173 and urging vocal support.

“This bill contains important measures for conservation,” said Ben Carter, executive director of DSC and board member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We applaud this legislation and urge our members and everyone who cares about fish, wildlife and sporting traditions to contact their representatives.”

Provisions include the National Fish Habitat Initiative Sense of Congress, the Federal Lands Transaction Facilitation Act reauthorization, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) reauthorization, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation reauthorization, the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act reauthorization, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Act reauthorization, and the Making Public Lands Public authorization.

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane said some of these provisions are similar to those within the SHARE Act and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act introduced earlier this year in the House and Senate, and “this pro-sportsmen’s conservation package is another step in the right direction for the enhancement of the nation’s hunting and angling opportunities, and fish and wildlife conservation.”

Comments from the four lawmakers who introduced H.R. 3173:

CSC Co-Chair Congressman Tim Walz (Minn.) – “Conservation is vital to protect our lakes, streams, rivers, and forests, as well as invigorating the outdoor economy that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes billions to our economy each year. This commonsense bill works to push forward a number of key conservation priorities which have proven to be effective and enjoy broad support amongst the millions of men and women who comprise the outdoor recreational community. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan measure to help conserve our natural, national treasures and push our economy forward.”

CSC Co-Chair Congressman Rob Wittman (Va.) – “The bill is a responsible package of conservation policies that are critical for advancing our sporting heritage. Reauthorizing NAWCA has been a consistent priority of mine, and it is just one of the many sensible provisions in this bill that will protect critical habitat and preserve the ability of sportsmen and women to enjoy our outdoor resources for years to come.”

 CSC Vice-Chair Congressmen Jeff Duncan (S.C.) – “As an avid outdoorsman I appreciate the Sportsmen’s Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act of 2015. Common sense conservation efforts that address critical aspects to protecting the interests of sportsmen and women as well as anglers across this great country are crucial steps to conserve God’s gift all around us. Many of us teach our children and grandchildren with the wealth of knowledge provided when in the outdoors. As a nation we must take steps so all can take advantage of such experiences for not only this generation, but for many yet to come.”

CSC Vice-Chair Congressmen Gene Green (Texas) – “The Sportsmen’s Caucus has a long and storied tradition when it comes to the conservation and protection of our natural resources for all varieties of outdoor recreation, and this bill continues that tradition.  Protecting our national wetlands, facilitating the sale of BLM land to improve access and conserve high priority land purchases and continuing the successful conservation efforts for our rivers, fish and wildlife are not partisan issues. Protecting these national treasures for future generations is imperative, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the CSC and the House on this pro-sportsmen’s legislation.”