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Boone and Crockett Club Applauds House Passage of America’s Conservation Enhancement Act

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MISSOULA, Mont. (October 2, 2020) – The Boone and Crockett Club thanks the U.S. House of Representatives that yesterday followed the lead of the U.S. Senate in passing the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. The ACE Act reauthorizes key conservation programs including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes conservation programs, as well as providing congressional authorization for the National Fish Habitat Conservation program. In addition, it creates a new task force to combat chronic wasting disease, updates the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration program to direct funding for hunter and shooter R3 (recruitment, retention and reactivation) efforts, and sets a “Sense of the Senate” supporting the use of voluntary, collaborative conservation agreements to benefit species and habitats. 

“The passage of the ACE Act further establishes the 116th Congress as one of the most successful on enacting important bipartisan conservation legislation,” said Boone and Crockett Club president, Tim Brady. “This bill packages together a number of important provisions that had been introduced earlier in the session, many of which were priorities for the hunting conservation community. The Boone and Crockett Club appreciates the hard work of Congressman Mike Thompson and Senator John Barrasso for shepherding the ACE Act through the legislative process and ensuring that it became law this year.”

The ACE Act brings together eight bills introduced in either the House or the Senate or both. The individual provisions represent issues identified by the Boone and Crockett Club and the other organizations that participate in the American Wildlife Conservation Partners. Key existing programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Chesapeake and Great Lakes conservation efforts needed reauthorization by Congress to maintain their critical function. The bill also creates a new Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (WILD) to support multi-agency and private collaboration and to provide grants for the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed at a broad landscape level.

However, the ACE Act also includes new programs on issues that are important to the Club. Chronic wasting disease is a wildlife health issue that directly impacts big game hunters. Establishing a task force within the U.S. Department of the Interior and authorizing funding for an interstate action plan and cooperative agreements as well as research into CWD transmission will help in efforts to fight this fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs title of the ACE Act expands use of the funds for the recruitment of hunters and recreational shooters and to enhance hunter and firearms education programs. This provision ensures that state fish and wildlife agencies can work together on R3 and public relations efforts that increase participation and communicate the important conservation efforts that are funded by sportsmen and women.

“Over the last two years, we have seen a significant commitment to conservation by this Congress and it is clear that it is a unifying issue that can bring together bipartisan support; the ACE Act is just one more example of this,” Brady concluded. 
 

About the Boone and Crockett Club

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.