"Louisiana, the Sportsman's Paradise, is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, which is why it is so important to find the balance between conserving them, and also protecting public access," said Vitter. "I'll continue pushing to get my initiatives that will better protect and enhance fish and wildlife, wetlands, and recreational hunting access."
The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act combines nine Senate bills and additional provisions into one legislative package to support hunting, fishing and recreational activities, and habitat conservation programs.
One of Vitter's provisions will amend language in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to provide an exemption for migratory game bird hunting on lands affected by natural disasters. In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) denied Louisiana duck hunters access on fields where Hurricane Gustav destroyed crops by claiming the fields had been "baited." In response, Vitter introduced the Migratory Bird Treaty Amendment Act of 2009, which would allow FWS to make exceptions for duck hunting on land damaged by natural disasters. Click here to read more.
Another of Vitter's provisions authorizes funds to continue the North American Wetlands Conservation Program from fiscal years 2014 through 2019. In February 2014, Vitter announced the passage of the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (NAWCA) through the EPW Committee. NAWCA will reauthorize the program to protect and restore wetlands in all 50 states through 2017. Click here to read more.
Vitter was also able to help include language that reauthorizes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation from fiscal years 2014 through 2019, authorizing appropriations to the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce. Vitter was the lead Republican sponsor of EPW Chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) bill, S. 51, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2013, which passed out of the EPW Committee in February 2014.