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February 2020 Legislative Update


H.R. 3742: RECOVERING AMERICA’S WILDLIFE ACT

This critical bipartisan legislation continues to gain momentum. The more sponsors, the better. Reach out to your Representatives and Senators and encourage them to cosponsor now! This legislation establishes a 21st Century funding model for the proactive conservation of fish and wildlife. This legislation redirects $1.3 billion annually in existing revenues to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-driven wildlife action plans, and an additional $97.5 million to tribal wildlife managers to conserve species on tribal lands and waters. This funding will ensure those with a proven track record of success in species conservation and recovery can proactively conserve at-risk fish and wildlife in a voluntary, non-regulatory manner. To date, there are 157 cosponsors.

H.R. 925, AMERICA’S CONSERVATION ENHANCEMENT ACT

HSC joined many other hunting and conservation organizations in submitting a letter to the U.S House of Representatives encouraging their support of America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, and to urge its approval by the House of Representatives as reported by the Senate. H.R. 925 includes high-priority conservation provisions and its passage by unanimous consent in the Senate on January 9th, 2020, marks a significant step forward in addressing growing challenges to species and habitat health. Final passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act by the House will not only have wide-ranging ecological impacts but will facilitate enhanced wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation by millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come.

NEVADA TEST AND TRAINING RANGE/DESERT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

HSCF, as an active member of American Wildlife Conservation Partners, submitted a letter to Robert Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Department of the Interior, seeking a discussion and delay on the proposed expansion of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR). The proposed expansion by the U.S., Air Force would result in the largest loss to the Refuge System in history and remove jurisdiction for the area away from the Fish and Wildlife Service. An excerpt from this correspondence states, “DNWR supports hunting and habitat for desert bighorn sheep. Access for both purposes will be reduced, lost, and further complicated if the proposed expansion proceeds. Even under the current withdrawal of half of the area of DNWR, established in FY2000, access is very difficult, conservation work is needlessly hindered, and basic commitments to cooperative management between the Departments of Defense and Interior have not been kept. This is contrary to the terms of the original withdrawal, which maintained primary jurisdiction for the Service and directed cooperative management with the Air Force. The disregard for the intended arrangement also limits the State of Nevada’s ability to manage state trust species. A written agreement on coordination that was required by the original withdrawal has never been reached and this continues to limit on the ground conservation work and challenge all parties”. The summary request of this correspondence notes the ask that the Department insist on a commitment by the Air Force to fulfill the requirements of, the original withdrawal, abandon the idea of assumed jurisdiction, actively incorporate stakeholder suggestions, and find real solutions to co-managing withdrawn portions of the DNWR in conjunction with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Nevada, key stakeholders, and the public. This will ensure an effective and appropriate scheduling for military training, refuge management, and public access on the DNWR. This would incorporate into readiness the sustainability of bighorn sheep populations, water developments, habitat management activities, and hunting and other forms of recreation.

FEDERAL LAND TRANSACTION FACILITATION ACT (FLTFA)

HSCF, in tandem with fifty (50) other constituents of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, is encouraging David Bernhardt, Secretary of Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior, to immediately implement the now-permanently reauthorized Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). The FLTFA will facilitate modified land exchanges to protect our nation’s lands and increase public access and recreation. FLTFA facilitates strategic federal land sales by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide funding for high-priority land conservation within or adjacent to federal lands in the eleven contiguous western states and Alaska. Under FLTFA, the revenue generated from BLM land sales must be deposited into the Federal Land Disposal Account, as opposed to the U.S. Treasury, to allow BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pursue land conservation projects that increase public access for outdoor recreation, hunting, and fishing; conserve wildlife habitat; protect water quality; and preserve historic and cultural resources. Furthermore, BLM will have additional funding to conduct sales and other administrative real estate work, increasing staff capacity. Once fully operational, these FLTFA land sales and acquisitions will again provide a critical tool for consolidating private and public land ownership, allowing for more efficient land management and expanded business operations. happen, the BLM—working with its partner agencies—must fully implement the law, beginning with finalizing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between these agencies. The updates to the MOU must recognize the new provisions in the law that make certain recreation and other lands eligible under FLTFA, among other changes. The group is asking that Secretary Bernhardt to work with the agencies to make the program more efficient, including delegating signature authority for land acquisition decisions to below the Secretary’s office, to at least agency heads or division chiefs.

Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation. Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.