Association Applauds Passage of the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act in Infrastructure Package and Senate Bill Introduction

Marc Townsend

Association Applauds Passage of the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act in Infrastructure Package and Senate Bill Introduction

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.

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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