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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., recently co-sponsored the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which would protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, while advancing efforts to conserve land and water.

“As a fisherman myself, and one who loves taking my grandkids out on the lake and teaching them about nature, preserving Georgia’s outdoors for recreation of all kinds is a responsibility I take personally,” said Isakson. “This bipartisan legislation is a great step in the right direction, and I look forward to continued opportunities to support Georgia’s sportsmen and women.”

Specifically, S.405, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, revises a variety of existing programs to expand access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. Among the provisions are:

  • Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act – protects the public’s right to engage in recreational hunting, fishing and shooting activities on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands;
  • Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act – permanently excludes lead-shot ammunition and lead fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act and leaves decisions about tackle to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
  • Bows Transported through National Parks – prohibits the National Park Service from restricting the lawful transportation of bows and crossbows that remain in the vehicle while in a national park unit. Currently, firearms can be legally transported, but not bows;
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act Reauthorization – reauthorizes this Act through 2019, providing matching grants for the restoration of wetlands critical to migratory birds. The wetlands conservation program has helped conserve 65,000 acres of habitat in Alaska with $4.7 million in grant funding;
  • Making Public Lands Public – requires the greater of 1.5 percent or $10 million of annual Land and Water Conservation Funds be made available for improving recreational access to existing federal lands;
  • HUNT Act – directs all federal public land management agencies to improve access to high priority federal lands where hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are permitted;
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization – reauthorizes this foundation through 2019, directing conservation dollars to pressing environmental needs with matching private funds.

Isakson is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan group that supports the sportsmen’s agenda in Congress and includes nearly 300 members of the House and Senate representing almost all 50 states.

The Senate legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House as H.R.2406.

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