On April 18, 2023, U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act (S. 1185). If enacted, this legislation would prohibit federal land management agencies, namely the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management, from banning the use of traditional tackle and ammunition on public lands unless such action is supported by the best available science and state fish and wildlife agencies. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year, led by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
The bill ensures that sportsmen and women’s access is not unjustly prohibited and that anglers throughout the United States can depend on the performance and affordability of lead. Protecting traditional tackle is crucial for ensuring that anglers can continue to enjoy the sport.
The bill was introduced in response to a recent FWS rule that would ban traditional tackle on some National Wildlife Refuges.
“The sportfishing industry is grateful to Senators Daines for introducing the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “Decisions about the tackle anglers are allowed to use must be based on science, not emotion. This bill will uphold state fish and wildlife agencies as the proper authorities to make science-based determinations around lead fishing tackle.”
Hughes added that this legislation is important in ensuring that ASA achieves its goal of ensuring that America’s public lands remain open and accessible for generations to come.
Additional information on this legislation can be found on ASA’s website. ASA also encourages supporters to voice their support of this legislation and urge their Senators to cosponsor this bill through our Keep America Fishing Action Center, which may be found here.