Arkansas’s Natural Resources
Hunting and fishing are a way of life for many in Arkansas. For generations families have come together to fish Arkansas’s streams and lakes. The beginning of hunting season is a celebrated like a holiday. To protect the rights of sportsmen, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4089, The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. The bill protects the ability of American sportsmen to hunt and fish on many public lands.
In our district, The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act will also have an economic impact. Arkansas’s Grand Prairie is home to the best duck hunting in the world and brings thousands of people to our district every year. The economies of Baxter and Cleburne Counties are dependent on fishermen who come to fish the nationally renowned trout waters of the White, Norfork and Little Red Rivers. The federal government should not be a roadblock for families who responsibly hunt and fish.
The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act will keep public lands in our district and across the country open for hunting and fishing. Specifically, the bill includes measures that:
• Requires hunting, recreational shooting and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management properties;
• Protects recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management;
• Clarifies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the right to regulate lead components found in either traditional ammunition or fishing tackle.
Congress would be wise to recognize the contributions that sportsmen make to protect our nation’s resources. Hunting and fishing are a central part of Arkansas’s rural heritage and my experience has always been that people who live off the land are the best stewards of our natural resources.
The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act upholds generations of tradition. The bill also ensures that our rural economy will be protected from new regulations on hunters and fisherman. Families can continue to fish and hunt together and Arkansas’s abundant resources and natural beauty will continue to draw people to our state and fuel our rural economy.