September 27, 2023
Today, during the business session of the 113th Annual Meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, the directors unanimously endorsed and applauded members of Congress for advancing bipartisan legislation to ensure students and schools can continue to access Department of Education funding for archery, hunter education, recreational shooting, and other outdoor enrichment programming.
On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, the Senate passed the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act (H.R. 5110), a bipartisan bill which now heads to the President’s desk for signature. This bill will address the unintended consequences caused by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and its impact on federal funding for hunter education, archery in schools, wilderness courses, and many other important educational enrichment programs. The unanimous Senate passage of H.R. 5110 comes shortly after the House passed the bill Tuesday night on an impressive vote of 424 – 1.
“We are grateful for congressional champions who worked together expeditiously on a bipartisan solution to safeguard Department of Education funding for these important youth outdoor programs,” said Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We urge President Biden to swiftly sign this bipartisan affirmation of funding for these important outdoor enrichment opportunities.”
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.