Montana Sen. Jon Tester's Sportsmen's Act of 2012 gained the support of two biggies in the outdoor publishing industry on Thursday.
The bill was blocked earlier this week by Repbulican senators who said it cost too much money, although it originally had bipartisan support.
“The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is so important to outdoor sports that it prompted us out of our reporting role and turned us into advocates,” said Anthony Licata, editorial director for Field & Stream and Outdoor Life. “This is not the time to be divisive or partisan because this is likely the most important piece of hunting and fishing legislation of our generation.”
According to Licata, the magazines do not typically endorse political candidates or legislation, so this move marks the first time in recent history that they have changed that policy.
Field & Stream’s and Outdoor Life’s reporting touted the many benefits of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012, including:
"35 million acres of public hunting and fishing land that was previously inaccessible would be opened by using revenue from offshore oil and gas leases to buy access from private owners.
"Help for troubled waterfowl populations with the reauthorization of the North American Wetland Conservation Act, which uses federal money to support state, local, and private wetlands projects.
"Establishing more public shooting ranges, which are sorely needed in many areas of the country, by channeling more money from the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on hunting and shooting equipment to create the resource.
"Raising the price of a duck stamp -- a federal license to hunt ducks, conceived and supported by sportsmen -- the proceeds of which help conserve waterfowl. And hunters would finally be allowed to buy stamps electronically."