We are all sick and tired of reacting to proposed lead tackle bans by "loonatics" to the EPA, so it was time to be proactive and take legislative steps to prevent frivolous rulings without scientific merit. The ASA/Keep America Fishing movement proposed new legislation that is on its way to becoming law (with our support). Here is an update on the progress to date.
You Did It! Monumental Sportsmen’s Legislation Clears
House of Representatives
Key issues impacting anglers are addressed in the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act
Thanks in large part to the thousands of KeepAmericaFishing™ angler advocates who voiced their support, on April 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089). This monumental legislation will, among other things, block ongoing, unjustified efforts by anti-fishing groups to ban lead fishing tackle and improve angler access to federal lands.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been petitioned by anti-fishing groups three times in the last 18 months to ban lead fishing tackle and/or ammunition based on a provision in the Toxic Substance Control Act. Time after time the EPA has ruled that the petitioners did not demonstrate that such a ban is “necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” The House-passed provision supports and reinforces the EPA's numerous decisions. The petitioners' continuing efforts, through petitions and lawsuits, demonstrate a clear need for this legislative solution.
The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act also contains several provisions addressing other concerns important to sportsmen and women. Among those is angler and hunter access to federal lands. With expanding land development and growing regulations restricting angler access, federally owned lands are more important than ever for recreational fishing opportunity. The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act promotes increased and more consistent access for fishing and hunting on federal public lands by directing public managers to facilitate recreational fishing and hunting on public lands and waters through their agencies’ land management plans.
KeepAmericaFishing thanks the thousands of anglers who supported this important bill, and will be calling on anglers soon to help ensure similar legislation clears the Senate.