The HUNT Act will directly benefit millions of American sportsmen. Photo by Dusan Smetana.
Hunters and anglers are hailing the HUNT Act as a way to maintain and expand sportsmen’s access to the public lands that provide key fish and wildlife habitat and offer unequaled opportunities for hunting and fishing.
Introduced by Rep. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, the Hunt Unrestricted on National Treasures Act, or HUNT Act (H.R. 6086), would direct federal agencies to inventory all public lands greater than 640 acres where hunting and fishing are legal but inaccessible. The bill calls for improving access and would finance land acquisitions from willing sellers through a small percentage of Land and Water Conservation Fund monies.
Ensuring sportsmen’s access to public lands also will sustain vital sectors of rural economies across the country. A report shows that in 2011 the Interior Department supported 403,000 jobs and contributed nearly $49 billion in economic benefits through recreation and tourism on public lands.
“If passed, the HUNT Act will directly benefit millions of American sportsmen and the nation’s powerful outdoor recreation economy,” said Joel Webster, director of the TCRP’s Center for Western Lands, “and we appreciate Representative Heinrich’s leadership in introducing the measure.”
“Across America, we’ve seen far too many traditional hunting and fishing habitats locked behind gates and no-trespassing signs. This bill will help fix that problem," said Ben Long, co-chairman of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “Public lands are the birthright of all Americans, not just those fortunate enough to buy acreages and spools of barbed wire.”
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