This bill would make federal public lands more accessible for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting. This would come through mandates to federal public land management officials in collaboration with state fish and wildlife agencies.
National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, and wilderness eligible/primitive/semi-primitive are among the lands that could be opened. Lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (USFS) could also apply. Exceptions to this legislation would include:
Concerns around national security, public safety, or resource conservation.
Any other federal statute that specifically precludes recreational fishing, hunting, or shooting on federal public lands and waters.
Discretionary limitations on recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting determined to be necessary and reasonable as supported by the best scientific evidence and advanced through a transparent public process.
The heads of each federal public land management agency would be directed to use their best judgment to support and facilitate recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting opportunities. Exercising their discretion would be done to the extent authorized under the applicable state law and in accordance with federal law.
Lands managed by the National Park Service would not be affected by this bill. Nothing in this legislation would authorize commodity development, use or extraction, permanent road construction, or motorized recreational access and use that isn’t otherwise allowed under the Wilderness Act.
Under this bill, if federal land (exceeding 640 acres) that had previously been open for hunting/fishing/shooting is re-classified to close off access — the land cannot be re-classified unless it goes through the following processes:
The head of the agency making the closure publishes an appropriate notice of the public land’s status.
The agency has demonstrated that coordination has occurred with the state's fish and wildlife agencies.
The head of the agency has submitted a written notice of the status change to relevant congressional committees.