July 23, 2020
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies applauds the favorable report of The Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (S. 4144) during full committee markup yesterday by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, via voice vote. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Congressman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Congresswoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA), would extend the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through 2025 and is a companion bill to the version that passed the full House of Representatives on July 1.
“We thank the leadership of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell, for introducing this bipartisan bill, and thank the full Committee for continuing the successful legacy of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act by moving this critical legislation forward,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The continuation of this program, a cornerstone of our nation’s ‘user-pays, public benefits’ model, is vital to maintaining and restoring healthy sport fish species and their habitats, providing angling and boating access to the public, and increasing boating safety and education”.
“We also thank Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) for introducing the House companion bill, The Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (H.R. 4828), and for championing its passage through the full House” said the Association’s Executive Director Ron Regan. “The Association supports expedited movement of S. 4144 through the Senate’s legislative process before the current law expires on September 30, 2020.”
The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (SFRBTF) provides important financial contributions to fisheries conservation by directing fuel taxes generated by recreational motorboats and small engines to state fish and wildlife agencies and state boating law administrators for the purpose of on-the-ground, state-driven fisheries conservation program, recreational boating access, aquatic resources education, and boating safety.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.