A controversial pro-hunting bill, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 274-146 and now heads to the Senate.
This bill combines a number of measures that could negatively impact wildlife, the environment and nature enthusiasts by opening the majority of public lands, including wildlife refuges and national monuments, to hunting and opening portions of roadless areas to motorized vehicles, which are currently prohibited by the Roadless Rule, and could potentially pave the way for logging, mining, drilling and other forms of development in designated Wilderness Areas.
It would also cause problems in three other major areas by allowing the import of polar bear trophies from Canada, preventing the EPA from regulating lead ammunition and undermining current laws that are in place to protect the environment by exempting decisions about hunting and fishing from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.
“This bill should be renamed the ‘Sportsmen’s Death Knell Act,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It flies in the face of traditional American hunting values to conserve ― not needlessly kill ― our game. Instead of upholding values dear to many hunters, it degrades wildlife habitat on public lands and mandates continued use of known poisonous lead bullets and sinkers that are unhealthy for hunters and anglers as well as our wildlife. There are powerful reasons we banned toxic lead from gasoline, plumbing and paint; now it’s time to finally rid this toxin from our bullets and fishing sinkers.”
The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act is described as a way to promote hunting and fishing, but hunters and anglers already have access to most federal lands. This legislation won’t do anything but compromise wilderness values and lead to the destructive activities in what’s left of our pristine wilderness.
Please contact your Senators and ask them to vote no on H.R. 4089 and sign the National Parks Conservation Association’s petition opposing hunting and recreational shooting in our national parks.
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