April 21, 2016
April 21, 2016 (Washington, DC) –On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan Sportsmen’s package, which contained several provisions that are key to the conservation of our natural resources in the United States. One of the many provisions of the package, which covered multiple sessions of Congress spanning five years, was the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act (NFHCTPA), which would codify the National Fish Habitat Partnership program. The NFHCTPA was adopted along with other amendments under the Sportsmen’s Package, with a vote of 97-0 under the Natural Resources Title of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012).
Other provisions of interest under the Natural Resources Title of the Energy Policy Modernization Act include:
• Reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2019
• Reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through 2019
• Permanent reauthorization of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA)
• Establishment of the HUNT Act to identify opportunities for recreation, hunting and fishing on federal land
• Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
“We appreciate the efforts of the Senate to pass this legislation in bipartisan fashion,” said Tom Champeau, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “It has been a long road for this legislation and we are optimistic and hopeful that it will reach passage.”
“Passing this legislation required a tremendous team effort and has gone through several sessions of Congress,” Champeau said. “This is truly a testimony to all that have been involved in our government affairs team over the years.”
“NFHCTPA brings together state and federal agencies, as well as conservation organizations, to support voluntary, non-regulatory partnerships to conserve fish habitat across the country,” says Steve Moyer, vice president for government affairs at Trout Unlimited. “The priority actions and collaboration of these partnerships has been amazing and will certainly benefit all anglers with improved habitat. “
S. 2012 was passed by the Senate with a bipartisan final vote of 85-12. The Senate and House will next hold a conference on energy legislation passed in both Chambers before being sent to the president.