Statement from The Wilderness Society on Sen. Tester’s Sportsmen’s Act Amendment to the Farm Bill

Jun 11, 2012

The Wilderness Society praises amendment that removes anti-wilderness provision

The Wilderness Society  today praised Senator Tester’s amendment to the Farm Bill, the Sportsmen’s Act. The proposal contains legislation that would enhance fish habitat and water quality, encourage public/private partnerships to conserve migratory bird habitats, reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and other provisions that support wildlife conservation efforts, both on federal and non-federal lands.  The bill also reauthorizes the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, which will allow federal land management agencies to acquire high priority lands from the sale of public lands identified for disposal via the Bureau of Land Management’s public land use planning process.

Melanie Beller, vice-president for policy and government affairs at The Wilderness Society said:

“These proposals are fundamental to good conservation and we applaud Senator Tester for including them in this package.

“This initiative steers clear of proposals in similarly-named bills, such as H.R. 4089 and S. 2066. The Wilderness Society opposes those bills, particularly the provisions that undercut protections for our federal public lands and Wilderness areas.

“The Wilderness Society thanks Senator Tester for his hard work to reaffirm the value of recreation on our public lands, to the benefit not only of America’s hunters and anglers, but for all Americans who enjoy and wish to preserve our nation’s wildlife resources.”

The Wilderness Society had spoken out against H.R. 4089 and S. 2066, a benign-sounding bill that contained Trojan horse language that undercut the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the president’s ability to use the Antiquities Act to designate national monuments.

“Senator Tester’s amendment is American conservation in action --- working with people from both political parties and all walks of life to protect America’s lands and waters for current and future generations to enjoy,” Beller concluded.