Sens. Hagan, Murkowski announce bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act
WASHINGTON – In a show of cooperation, Sens. Kay Hagan (NC) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have introduced a bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which includes the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Both senators had previously introduced their own individual sportsmen’s packages in this Congress. “We are happy to see Senators Hagan and Murkowski working together to put the spotlight on our nation’s hunting heritage,” Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said. “Outdoor recreation and conservation are strong economic drivers in the United States and DU is happy to see the industries getting deserved recognition in the halls of Congress.” The bipartisan act (S.1996) is a compilation of bills that focus on wildlife habitat conservation, including the reauthorization of NAWCA, and increasing public-land access for sportsmen and women. “NAWCA in particular is a vital conservation program that conserves habitat and enhances the waterfowl and wildlife populations necessary for hunters, anglers and all citizens to enjoy. It is the perfect example of a smart federal grant program because it leverages private funds to match federal dollars,” Hall said. NAWCA conserves North America’s waterfowl, fish and other wildlife resources while producing a variety of environmental and economic benefits. NAWCA partnership grants play an important role in meeting the DU mission, from restoring wetlands that have been altered, and enhancing water quality and availability, to reducing soil erosion and the likelihood of floods. Every federal dollar provided by NAWCA must be matched by at least one dollar from non-federal sources. The program is so successful it leverages, on average, $3.20 from private sources for every federal dollar. According to a Southwick Associates study, outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation and historic preservation provide a minimum $1.7 trillion in economic impact in the United States. Additionally, the industries provide more than $200 million in federal, state and local tax revenue, and support 12.8 million jobs.