The Wild Side for Nov. 11, 2012

So you thought you were through with political decisions for at least a couple of years after Tuesday’s national elections.

Not so fast my friend.

With Congress reconvening this week, major sportsmen’s groups across the country are urging hunters and fishermen to contact their senators to support the Sportsmen’s Act, Senate 3525.

This legislation contains as many as 19 separate bills designed to protect and preserve our country’s citizens passion for outdoor pursuits, and protect conservation funding efforts hunters and fishermen have provided for decades.

The move in the U.S. Senate follows on the heels of the U.S. House approval of the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, passed 276-146 during the spring.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is among those groups leading the charge for the Senate vote.

The NSSF release focuses on a move that “includes the firearms industry’s top legislative priority, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838) that would clarify that ammunition is excluded from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act.”

It’s no secret that for the past 10 years the Center for Biological Diversity has led anti-hunting factions in suing the EPA to come up with a ban on lead ammunition or any ammo with lead components. The CBS claim is that lead contaminates the meat of the animal, thereby making is unfit for human consumption. Laboratory tests have refuted that claim at least twice in the past six years.

The move on using lead used in making lures has spread into the fishing industry with claims that tackle manufacturers must find an alternate to lead in sinkers and other lures.

Other major parts of Senate 3525 include:

Making Public Lands Public, an act that requires 1.5 percent of the annual Land and Water Conservation Fund funding to be made available to secure public access to federal public land for hunting, fishing, and other recreational purposes.

And, Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, a bill requiring that Pittman-Robertson funds be made available to states “for the creation and maintenance of shooting ranges.” This bill encourages federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges and limits liability for these agencies with regards to the shooting ranges. The Pittman-Robertson Act imposed a tax at the manufacturer on all hunting and shooting equipment and supplies. Federal Pittman-Robertson managers distribute these funds to the states based on the number of hunting licenses sold in each state.

To support the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121.

If you belong to almost any sportsman’s or conservation organization, it’s likely you’re in a group supporting this bill.