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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2406 - Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act

February 24, 2016


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House)

(Rep. Wittman, R-VA, and 37 cosponsors)

While the Administration strongly supports the goal of promoting recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting opportunities, and recognizes the economic and community benefits associated with hunting and fishing, it strongly opposes H.R. 2406 in its current form. These important recreational opportunities abound on public lands are valued by millions of Americans who hunt and fish on public lands, forests, parks, and refuges. Accordingly, the Administration supports certain titles of H.R. 2406 that protect and further those opportunities, but opposes others which include harmful provisions that impair Federal management of federally-owned lands and undermine important existing public land and environmental laws, rules, and processes.

The Administration supports Title II, which would amend funding requirements under current law for target range construction and maintenance, thus reducing the financial burden on State and local governments for public target ranges. The Administration also supports reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, but has concerns about the use of funds from the Federal Land Disposal Account included in Title IX. While the Administration also supports Title XII, which would extend an important provision in the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), this authority has already been extended through 2026 in P.L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2016.

However, the Administration strongly opposes Title VI, which would: (1) exclude management decisions from the National Environmental Policy Act, the cornerstone law guiding environmental protection and public involvement in Federal actions; (2) supersede longstanding statutory planning discretion; and (3) undermine the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Administration also strongly opposes the following: (1) Title I, which could prevent the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service from limiting the use of lead shot or tackle where it is threatening populations of native migratory birds and other wildlife, including on national wildlife refuges; (2) Title IV, which would prohibit the Secretary of the Army from promulgating or enforcing any regulations that would prohibit the possession of firearms at water resources development projects with limited exceptions; (3) Title VII, which would create confusion regarding the enforcement of laws on baiting of migratory birds; (4) Title X, which would interfere with the Administration's ongoing efforts to combat poaching and trafficked ivory; (5) Title XIV, which would restrict the ability of the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to regulate certain recreational or commercial fishing access to certain waters; (6) Title XV, which would potentially create public safety issues by restricting the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forest Service Chief to regulate certain hunting and fishing activities within the National Forest System; and (7) Title XVI, which would disrupt an ongoing planning effort for managing bison at Grand Canyon National Park and may cause confusion about the National Park Service's existing authorities to manage wildlife populations.

Furthermore, the Administration objects to Title VIII, which would prohibit the Director of the National Park Service from promulgating or enforcing any regulation that prohibits an individual from transporting certain inoperable bows and crossbows across any unit of the National Park System. Finally, the Administration has concerns with: (1) Title V, which would abolish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and replace it with a council that is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the framework and transparency that FACA ensures; and (2) Title XIII, which rescinds authority to manage certain commercial filming activities on Federal lands and waterways managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the Congress to enact sportsmen and recreation legislation that addresses the concerns raised with certain provisions of H.R. 2406.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2406 - Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/312587