Daily Archives: November 28, 2012

Procedural Motion Stops Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 in Senate

In a surprise upset, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525). After months of discussion with Senate members by a diverse coalition of angling, hunting and conservation organizations to create a historic bill containing 17 key provisions for anglers, hunters and fish and wildlife conservation, the bill failed to pass over a party line vote on a procedural motion.

“The shocking aspect of this bill’s defeat – one that would have such a positive impact on anglers, hunters and fish and wildlife conservation – is that it occurred over a budget argument giving the Secretary of the Interior the ability to increase the duck stamp price $10, thus pumping more dollars into wetland conservation for both fisheries and wildlife benefits” said Gordon Robertson, vice president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

“Adding salt to the wound is that the increase is strongly supported by waterfowl hunters who champion the user pay-user benefit concept for fish and wildlife conservation along with all sportsmen and women as well as the fishing and hunting industries,” said Robertson. “The Congressional Budget Office has stated that overall, S. 3525 would reduce the nation’s deficit by $5 million.”

“It’s a cruel twist that the Senate failed to move S. 3525 over a budget procedural question when in the end the bill adds to conservation and would most certainly have a positive impact on the nation’s economy,” said Robertson. “It would truly be a tragedy if this historic piece of legislation went down in flames due to partisanship and simmering disputes over Senate rules and procedures that have nothing to do with the merits of the bill.”

Robertson further noted, “Previous procedural votes advancing this legislation on the Senate floor have won more than 80 votes. ASA is urging Senate leaders to bring the focus back to fish and wildlife conservation and the needs of the nation’s 60 million sportsmen and women that are addressed in this historic legislative package. We’ve come this far because we’ve kept partisan politics away from this bill. We need to get back on that course.”

With just a few legislative days remaining in the lame duck Congress, it will be a challenge to resurrect S. 3525. The bill ran into trouble when a point of order was raised about whether the bill violated a 2011 budget agreement and a motion to waive the point of order failed by 10 votes. Budget related disputes are not uncommon when large pieces of legislation come to the Senate floor. It is however very uncommon for a budget point of order challenging a provision that would modestly increase revenues to sink a bill. Six senators were not present and the vote on the procedural motion to waive the point of order fell along party lines with the exception of two senators. To see how your Senator(s) voted, please visit the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 page on KeepAmericaFishing™.

“The American Sportfishing Association and the members of the coalition stand ready to work with Senate and House members to find a solution that enables passage of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 before Congress adjourns,” Robertson concluded. “It will take a lot of effort, but we remain hopeful. This historic package of bipartisan bills was crafted and advanced through Congress thanks to bipartisanship. It is not too late for our Senators to put aside the partisanship that caused the bill to fail and pull this bill from the flames, but they must act quickly.”

Kansas Deer Hunters Aim to Feed Hungry

Hunters, meat processors, food banks provide meals to poor

During the 12-day Kansas firearm deer season, which opened Wednesday, Nov. 28, more than 50,000 deer may be harvested. In some areas of the state, hunters can obtain up to five whitetail antlerless deer permits, in addition to their either-sex permit. And while additional harvest helps stabilize and control the deer population, many hunters don’t want or need more than one or two deer in the freezer. That is where Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry (KSHFH) comes into the picture.

KSHFH is a nonprofit organization that is the conduit for hunters to donate deer and provide food for hungry Kansans. With the help of hunters, meat processors, and private donors, KSHFH annually provides thousands of meals to those in need. Just one deer can feed nearly 200 hungry people in the state. In 2011, 1,038 deer were donated through KSHFH, providing nearly 225,000 meals through 100 food banks across the state.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism makes supporting this program easy. When outdoorsmen and women buy licenses, permits, or stamps, they can donate $2 to fund the program, which the agency collects for KSHFH. Contributions from hunters, businesses, churches, sportsmen’s clubs, organizations and other foundations help KSHFH pay butchers to process, package and freeze the donated venison for distribution by local food pantries.

Volunteers help organize and coordinate the efforts of KSHFH in communities across the state by helping with fundraising, promotional gatherings, meat donation, meat distribution and much more.

KSHFH invites hunters to donate any legally harvested deer to one of the more than 40 participating meat processors around the state. To find one nearest you, go online to www.kshfh.org and click on “Lockers.” It’s always a good idea to call ahead before taking your deer to a processor. There is no cost to donate your deer as long as the KSHFH organization has sufficient funding to cover the processing expense. Donated game must be field dressed and legally tagged.

Kansas Wildlife Federation Calls for Nominations

Conservation Achievement Program award nomination deadline Dec. 15

You know someone who has volunteered countless hours towards a particular wildlife project or someone who has devoted themselves beyond normal expectations for conservation. It is important for conservationist to give credit to those who deserve it. It demonstrates that we hold these activities in high regard and gives some appreciated recognition to folks who work very hard for something they love. Do your part and consider those you work with or know who have performed beyond the call of duty, someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to Kansas’ wildlife. Let’s not let them go unrecognized for their dedication and sacrifices.

            CAP award categories include Land and Soil Conservation, Youth Conservationist, Conservation Communicator, Conservation Educator, Wildlife Conservationist, Water Conservationist, Conservation Legislator, Conservation Farmer/Rancher, Forestry Conservationist, Stream Team Conservationist, Outdoor Skills Instructor, Conservation Organization, and Conservationist of the Year. Awards will be presented at KWF’s annual banquet, which is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2013 in Emporia.

Please make an effort to identify folks who have made special efforts for wildlife in 2012. Those who have received Conservation Achievement Program (CAP) awards in the past can attest to the pride they felt in being bestowed such a noteworthy recognition. Do your part and make certain we recognize those most deserving at the CAP banquet.

            To nominate someone simply e-mail a nomination of 2,000 words (more or less) to [email protected]. Make sure you put full contact information for yourself and the nominee, including mailing and e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Do it now!

             Thanks for your help with this very noteworthy program for wildlife conservation in KansasFor more information, phone 620-672-7289 or email [email protected]. Get your nominations to us by December 15.