Wicker Backs Bill to Protect Hunting and Fishing Habitats

‘HELP for Wildlife Act’ Would Conserve Wetlands, Fisheries, & Expand Public Shooting Ranges

July 26, 2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today voted in favor of the “Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation (HELP) for Wildlife Act.” The bill would expand support for the conservation of wetlands, encourage public-private partnerships to conserve fishing habitats, and fund the construction of public target ranges. The bill also provides regulatory clarity for sportsmen.

“We are blessed with beautiful and bountiful natural resources,” Wicker said. “This bill would put sensible policies in place to protect these resources, ensuring that our wetlands and fishing habitats can be enjoyed by future generations of hunters, fishers, and wildlife enthusiasts.”

“Our sportsmen would benefit from more public target ranges and updated federal policies on common hunting and fishing practices,” Wicker said.

Specifically, the bill would address concerns of hunters, fishers, and conservationists by:

  • Extending authorization and appropriations for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act through Fiscal Year 2022;
  • Reauthorizing the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act through FY2022;
  • Finalizing partnerships among public agencies and other interested parties for promoting fish conservation;
  • Facilitating the construction and expansion of public target ranges, by allowing more funding flexibility for state and federal agencies;
  • Preventing farmers from being held liable for bird baiting for hunting purposes if they adhere to USDA and state agricultural best practices; and
  • Protecting sport fishing equipment from unnecessary regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wicker’s vote in favor of the “HELP for Wildlife Act” came during a business meeting of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The committee approved the measure 14-7. More than 50 outside groups have expressed their support.

Wicker has been an avid supporter of sportsmen since joining Congress. This month, he authored two bills to boost recreational fishing and marine management on the Gulf Coast by modernizing federal policies.

Read the full text of the HELP for Wildlife Act, S. 1514, here.