Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday June 8, 2012...Dear Senator

The Wilderness Act has protected special places across the country from motorized vehicles for decades and the “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act” would undo it all. The deceitful bill is framed as increasing access for fishing and hunting when, in fact, it would destroy the very habitat that fish and wildlife need to thrive.
A new bill passed by the U.S. House last week would undo the protections of the Wilderness Act and allow off-road vehicles to motor through previously protected lands. The bill is being touted as a pro-fishing and pro-hunting proposal, but we can see through that veneer.
Sadly, on April 17 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to put our Wilderness heritage at risk – and they did it through deceitful legislation that was advertised as promoting hunting and fishing.
I wrote to my Senator Roy Blunt asking him to vote against this bill in the Senate. His reply:
It's reassuring to know that environmentally responsible and dedicated sportsmen will not destroy the habitat that we have so carefully tried to protect. They wouldn't do that, would they? The Wilderness Act kept motorized vehicles out of these areas, but now they will be open to recreationists.

Senator Roy Blunt
Dear Robert,

Thank you for contacting me regarding proposed changes to management and regulatory policies that would benefit sportsmen and recreationists.

Sportsmen and recreationists play an important role in national conservation efforts. The revenue from the sale of certain firearms, sporting equipment and permit sales serves as a vital source of funding for state departments of conservation. Sportsmen are known for their dedication to wildlife and habitat conservation; a study conducted by Ducks Unlimited has shown that sportsmen are more than three times more likely than other citizens to contribute to or take part in conservation efforts.

We have a responsibility to preserve our nation's resources by protecting parks, communities, and the environment. Millions of American and international tourists visit our national parks and historic sites every year. Public land management should encourage environmentally responsible conservation, recreation, and economic use of these lands.

Legislation such as HR 4089, The Sportsmen's Heritage Act, and similar proposals deserve careful consideration to ensure they follow this multiple-use philosophy in an environmentally responsible way. We also must avoid over-regulating traditional ammunition and fishing tackle. I have been outspoken in opposition to any attempts by the EPA to regulate these traditional means used in sporting activities out of existence without sound science to support its actions.

As you may know, I am a consistent supporter of sportsmen and gun owners. I am always open to considering common-sense reforms that encourage sportsmen and recreationists to use our public lands in a responsible way.

Sincere regards,
Roy Blunt
United States Senator

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