Federal fish conservation bill gains Senate committee support

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee voted in favor of a portion of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 to renew investments in fish conservation on Jan. 20.

S. 659 complements another Senate committee action in November 2015, when federal legislators supported a bill (S. 556) requiring federal land managers to ensure public access to recreational fishing and other outdoors sports.

The support of S. 659 means Congress will ultimately be voting to reauthorize two conservation grant programs: Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act and North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Both granting programs offer recipients matching incentives.

“Each federal dollar invested in these grant programs is matched, on average, three times over by non-federal dollars that have major on-the-ground impacts for the conservation of wetlands, waterfowl and other wildlife,” a statement issued by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership said in response to the Senate committee’s support of S. 659.

A few proposed amendments were also approved, including reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Fish Habitat Conservation Act.

Both S. 659 and S. 556 are part of the comprehensive Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which could soon be in front of the full Senate for a vote.

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