July 8, 2020
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the inclusion of the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (H.R. 4828) as part of the Moving Forward Act (H.R.2), which passed in the House of Representatives last week. This bipartisan legislation, originally introduced in the House in 2019 by Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC), along with Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA), Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA), Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would extend the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through 2024.
“We thank the members of the House for passing H.R. 2, which includes the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act and for continuing the successful legacy of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act since 1950,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The enactment of this legislation is critically important for continuing the cornerstone funding mechanism that is essential to state fish and wildlife agencies for the conservation of sport fish species and their habitats, to provide public access for fishing and boating, and to provide boating safety and education.”
“We also thank the leadership of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation -- Chairman Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Cantwell (D-WA), for introducing the bipartisan Senate companion bill, called the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (S. 4144), on July 1,” 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.