Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013 — Critical to Sportsmen and Women but Also Outdoor Media

For eight years, the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) has fought for relief for outdoor industry journalists who film or shoot photography on public lands. A bill just introduced in the U.S. House of representatives could provide that relief.

Current law allows for denial of access to public lands, the necessity for a permit to film, and levy of incredibly high fees. Finally, relief, through a new bill before the U.S. House of Representatives, could begin to make it's way to becoming law — a new and fair law for journalists.

The bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) just introduced the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013 in the U. S. House of Representatives. If passes, it will provide a measures to stop what many call madness by setting forth an annual permit and sensible fee for the media.

Relief for the media is incorporated into a larger bill that also benefits all sportsmen and women.

"POMA is grateful to the efforts of CSC on behalf of all journalists/media who film or photograph on public lands and share the story of our phenomenal natural resources with millions of people daily," said Laurie Lee Dovey, POMA executive director. "The current law, overzealous interpretation by land managers, and non-standardized enforcement have not only hurt the media, but also our public lands. When the voices who report on public lands and issues is virtually silenced, public support for the lands diminishes. Diminished support results in a negative domino effect all the way to the general public and individual park visitors."

CSC introduced the SHARE Act of 2013. This legislative package includes various pro-sportsmen's bills that will help ensure our outdoor traditions are protected and advanced, and addresses some of the most current concerns of American hunters and recreational anglers and shooters. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of pro-sportsmen's legislation in a decade, the passage of the SHARE Act would be a legislative milestone for the sportsmen's community.

CSC Co-Chairs, Representatives Bob Latta and Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chairs, Representatives Rob Wittman and Tim Walz, introduced the SHARE Act as a bipartisan package of pro-sportsmen's legislation in an effort to continue to safeguard and promote America's hunting and fishing traditions.  

"This bipartisan legislative package is an important advancement for the outdoor sporting community, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward and to promote the values and traditions that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy in the United States," stated Co-Chair, Rep. Bob Latta.

Co-Chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, praised the CSC leadership for their efforts in getting this legislation to the House floor. "Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus introduced meaningful legislation that promotes the interest of hunters and anglers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to advance this legislation."

Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF), emphasized bipartisan cooperation in advancing the SHARE Act in the 113th Congress. "I thank the bipartisan leadership of the CSC for their efforts in introducing this vital legislation. In July, a sportsmen's package was the topic of CSF's breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill, where many sportsmen-legislators voiced their support."

SHARE Act Priorities

Some of these priorities that this legislation addresses includes: protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle by American hunters and anglers, the potential increase of more Pittman-Robertson funds for shooting ranges, the permanent authorization of the electronic duck stamp, the importation of polar bear carcasses legally harvested in Canada before 2008, authorizing the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement a new fishery management plan that will ensure the long-term conservation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and helps facilitate the use of and access to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting. It also prohibits the enforcement of individual firearm regulations at water resources development projects administered by the Corps of Engineers, and prohibits additional fees for commercial filming on federal lands and waterways.

This legislation will also permanently establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting and recreational shooting.

Vice-Chair, Rep. Tim Walz, stated, "I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, historic legislation that will protect and advance our American outdoor heritage for generations to come."

Vice-Chair, Rep. Rob Wittman also voiced his support for the SHARE Act. "As a sportsman, I am humbled to advocate for this community and help introduce this legislation to advance priorities of American anglers, hunters and conservationists. This common sense package will expand opportunities for recreation, support fair treatment and modernize programs for sportsmen, and includes a proposal I authored to allow migratory waterfowl hunters to purchase their annual Federal duck stamp online," Rep. Wittman stated. 

CSF will continue to keep you apprised as this legislation continues to move through Congress. Complete information is regularly posted on the CSF website.

Since 1989 the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen's organization in the political arena. CSF's mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, recreational fishing and shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the CSC, the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, recreational fishing and shooting, and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the agenda of America's hunters and anglers.