May 16, 2023

Manchin Introduces Bipartisan Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, introduced the bipartisan Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023 to prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from banning the use of traditional lead ammunition or tackle on public lands unless field data determines that a decline in a wildlife population is primarily caused by their use.

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and as an avid sportsman myself, I know firsthand how important our hunting and fishing culture is to who we are as West Virginians and Americans,” said Senator Manchin. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023 to ensure any restrictions placed on the hunting and fishing industries are rooted in scientific evidence, rather than partisan politics. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation to block this federal overreach and protect our outdoor recreation economy.”

Recreational fishing is enjoyed by 55 million anglers annually, supporting over 800,000 jobs with a $128 billion economic impact. Recreational fishing communities are among the nation’s leading conservationists, contributing $1.7 billion annually to aquatic resource conservation through excise taxes, license fees and direct donations. Lead has long been the most suitable metal for fishing sinkers and jigs, which are integral to many types of fishing and are a significant part of the recreational fishing economy. Alternatives are often more expensive and less commercially available, and FWS has provided no scientific evidence linking the use of traditional ammunition and tackle with a species population decline.

Senator Manchin joined Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) John Hoeven (R-ND), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Thune (R-SD), Ted Budd (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

The full text of the bill is available here.