US Trade body applauds ‘incredibly important’ fishing legislation
A piece of legislation described as ‘incredibly important‘ by the President of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has passed a Senate committee.
The Outdoor Recreation Act 2022, aimed at improving and increasing outdoor recreation opportunities, including fishing, on federal lands was unanimously approved by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
The ASA wrote to senators Joe Manchin (R-W.Virginia.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) thanking them for moving the bill forward for consideration by the full Senate.
“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure our public lands are well managed and conserved to benefit the outdoor recreation economy and all those who love the outdoors,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes (pictured).
The Act seeks to expand and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities on federal lands managed by the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the USDA Forest Service.
Provisions of specific importance to the sportfishing industry include:
Improved Visitation Data that will require federal land management agencies to establish a single visitation data management and modelling system for public recreation.
Federal Land and Aquatic Resource Activities Assistance will increase inspections and decontamination of watercraft entering and leaving Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service sites in western states. This will help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species between waterways while minimising disruptions to public access for boating in non-contaminated vessels.
Ensuring Recreation is a Management Priority would create an inventory of recreation opportunities on federal lands and require that the federal agencies manage these lands to protect and enhance the value of outdoor recreation.
Other provisions include streamlining the permitting process for guides operating on federal lands, expanding broadband internet connectivity at recreation sites and supporting public-private partnerships to expand parking facilities.
“Increasing fishing participation is one of ASA’s pillars,” added Hughes. “In addition to programmes like ‘Fishing… Share the Fun’ our community needs sound federal policy like America’s Outdoor Recreation Act to ensure that the public has quality places to enjoy fishing.”