Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate approved a measure by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Ted Stevens (R-AK) that would protect each state’s right to regulate hunting and fishing. The legislation was cosponsored by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Ben Nelson (R-NE). It passed the full Senate late last night, as an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act.
“This is a big victory for Nevadans, and for sportsmen everywhere,” said Reid. “Nevada’s hunting and fishing groups help conserve our natural resources through taxes, fees, and old-fashioned hard work. Our sportsmen understand Nevada, and they work hard to take care of it. This bill recognizes and rewards those efforts. I hope the House of Representatives will join us to pass this bill into law.”
“Alaskans join Nevadans in the proud tradition of hunting and fishing,” said Stevens. “This amendment ensures that our states sportsmen are able to fully partake in the resources and splendor of their own states.”
“Nevada’s sportsmen embody a proud tradition of western independence and I’m proud to have fought for this measure on their behalf,” Ensign said. “We have protected their interests and maintained important protections for our environment.”
“Uncle Sam should stay out of the business of regulating state hunting and fishing fees,” said Nelson. “It’s simply a case of states’ rights and the States won an important victory when this bill passed.”
The bill would allow Nevada, Alaska, and other states to continue distinguishing between residents and non-residents when issuing hunting and fishing licenses.
States have traditionally regulated hunting and fishing within their borders, but a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals questioned how states can allocate hunting tags for residents and non-residents. The new legislation would reaffirm the long-standing right of states to make decisions about tag limits and licenses.
“This legislation will benefit and unite sportsman and conservationists everywhere, as well to help promote continuing pro active wildlife management for generations to come,” said Clint Bentley, Commissioner of the Nevada Board of Wildlife. “I’d like to thank the Senators for standing up for sportsmen and wildlife managers.”
The House of Representatives still needs to approve the amendment. The Supplemental Appropriations Act will go to a joint Senate/House Conference Committee where that decision will be made.