Natural Resources Committee Passes Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act
Sep 13, 2017
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after the Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. This bill protects Americans’ access to public lands, enhances hunting and fishing opportunities, and, with the adoption of an amendment LaMalfa authored to include his HR 289 (the “GO Act”), modernizes federal agencies’ special recreation permit process.
LaMalfa said: “Reliable access to our public lands is critical to our nation’s long history of outdoor sporting activities, like hunting and fishing. These traditions are of particular importance to rural areas like the First District, where the recreation industry is often a big part of the local economy. Unfortunately, federal agencies often impede people's access to public lands by imposing excessive permit requirements or wholesale gating off and closure of areas to hunting and fishing. The SHARE Act ensures that people will get the most out of their public lands while helping sustain rural economies, while my GO Act seeks many of these same goals. I am pleased with the unanimous support my amendment received. The SHARE Act is one of the most important actions Congress can take this year to protect and expand hunting and fishing on public lands, and I look forward to its consideration on the House floor.”
Among other provisions, the SHARE Act includes the following components to help more Americans enjoy public lands:
Requires that Bureau of Land Management and National Forest lands be open to hunting, fishing, and shooting unless closed for specific public safety purpose, such as a fire.
Speeds access to Pittman-Robinson funds generated by hunting equipment purchases in order to maintain public recreational shooting ranges.
Eliminates excessive red tape that prevented farmers from hunting on their own land.
Reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act for five years.
Rep. LaMalfa’s bill, the Guides and Outfitters (GO) Act, was included as an amendment to the SHARE Act. The GO Act provides more certainty, lower costs, and faster approval times for all Americans hoping to enjoy outdoor activities and events on federal lands. The GO Act:
Provides outdoor groups with a more orderly and efficient permit application.
Decreases processing time and lowering administrative costs by allowing permits to be completed online.
Provides joint permits for recreational trips and activities that cross a combination of NPS, BLM, and USFS land.
Creates temporary permits for up to 2 years with the option for conversion into a long-term permit in order to ease approval of new activities and events.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.