Policy Pulse: Congress Has Important Work Yet To Do

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Although Congress made some progress on critical conservation issues this year, there is more work to do in 2020. League staff are tracking action on Capitol Hill on a variety of topics vital to our mission, including:

Public Lands and Outdoor Recreation

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would do exactly what its name says: fully fund the nation’s most successful conservation program. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized (or renewed) earlier this year, but that did not come with permanent funding. This bill would fix that, to the tune of $900 million annually to conserve public lands and waters, increase public access, and build infrastructure for all Americans to enjoy outdoor recreation.

Habitat and Wildlife Conservation

It’s no secret that funding for wildlife conservation in the United States is driven largely by hunters and anglers through license fees and excise taxes on firearms, archery equipment, and fishing tackle. It’s also not a secret that declines in the number of hunters has wildlife managers worried about the future of conservation funding. Congress is considering two bills to address these potential shortfalls.

The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act would allow state wildlife managers to use a small percentage of excise taxes to market hunting to new audiences. The goal is to shore up declining hunter numbers.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would create a new revenue stream, funded mostly by fees paid to develop energy on federal lands and waters, for states to implement plans designed to conserve wildlife and keep species from becoming endangered.

The League supports both of these bills and the Land and Water Conservation Fund legislation.

Ask your members of Congress to support them as well.

Climate Change

Debate on addressing climate change has been largely limited to the House of Representatives, where members continue to evaluate how to effectively combat rising temperatures while protecting the economy. The League continues to advocate for solutions to climate change, both large and small.

For example, we are pressing for policies that would improve soil health. Healthy soil sequesters large amounts of carbon and can help turn the agriculture sector from a key contributor to climate change to a vital part of the solution.

Sign up for e-news and Action Alerts to stay on top of these and other issues as they move through Congress.