Rep. Austin Scott Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Wildlife Conservation Funds, Expand Promotion of Sportsmen’s Activities
WASHINGTON, DC – Late yesterday, U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08), House Vice Chairman of Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (PR), which collects an excise tax on sporting goods sales to fund wildlife conservation projects.
“The sportsmen and women of America are the heart of wildlife conservation, and updating our nation’s system of conservation funding will ensure our recreational areas are open and available for folks to enjoy for generations to come,” said Rep. Scott. “By modernizing Pittman-Robertson funds and reexamining how they can be used by states, we can introduce a whole new generation of Americans to the outdoors and educate them on how to be safe and responsible sportsmen.”
Rep. Scott’s bill would expand financial and technical assistance to states and territories for the promotion of sportsmen’s activities, in turn allocating more PR funds for conservation, research, and hunter education programs. Decades of migration to urban and suburban centers have made it more difficult for the public to participate in sportsmen’s activities. As the base of sportsmen and women declines, so do PR wildlife conservation funds.
In addition to providing new avenues for which to apportion Pittman-Robertson funds, this legislation would establish new hunter recruitment and recreational shooter recruitment grants that promote a national hunting and shooting sport recruitment program available to states under PR, further conserving the user-pay funding of wildlife conservation.
Joining Rep. Scott as original co-sponsors of the bill were fellow CSC House Vice-Chair Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33) and CSC Chairs Reps. Jeff Duncan (SC-03) and Gene Green (TX-29).