These are the stories that had sportsmen talking and tweeting—some even made us fighting mad—this year
Endangered Species Act protection is not warranted for sage grouse
The greater sage grouse was not listed as an endangered species back in September, thanks to epic collaboration among federal agencies, state land managers, Western businesses, and local volunteers.
Sportsmen flood lawmaker offices with letters opposing the transfer of public lands
After Senators went on record as supportive of public land transfer by passing a non-binding budget resolution in March, it took us all a minute to understand what that would mean—that the sale of our public lands was more possible than ever. Thanks to hunters and anglers across the country, lawmakers are starting to understand that we won’t sit idly by and watch this happen. As of July, sportsmen like you had sent 174,000 letters to their local, state, and federal decision-makers opposing this bad idea—that number is now up to 218,000 letters.
Habitat restoration is top priority for $18.7B oil spill settlement
A little more than five years after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, BP agreed to an $18.7-billion settlement with the five Gulf states and the U.S. government for environmental damages and lost revenues. And anglers know just what to do with all that money.
Congress is seriously out of touch with sportsmen on clean water
In July, the National Wildlife Federation released a poll showing that 83 percent of hunters and anglers surveyed thought the Clean Water Act should apply to smaller, headwater streams and wetlands that are crucial to fish and wildlife. Congress wanted to ignore public opinion and get in the way of clean water protections.
Ducks, quail, pheasants, and turkeys get a big boost from new Farm Bill initiatives
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in May that an additional 800,000 acres would be eligible for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), with a special focus on duck nesting habitat and wetlands. And in September, the USDA started accepting applications for a new, nationwide CRP Grasslands initiative meant to keep hooves on the ground and grassland habitat intact.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund expired—then finally had its day in Congress
The conservation fund that has effectively opened up public access to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation on national, state, and local lands for the past 50 years was not reauthorized by Congress before the September 30 deadline. We knew it wasn’t the end, but were relieved to see the LWCF could be re-upped for three years in the end-of-year spending bill being considered by Congress this week.