“Open Fields” legislation good for sportsmen and landowners
WASHINGTON, May 17, 2007 – Ducks Unlimited supports new legislation in Congress to expand public access to private lands for hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. U.S. senators Kent Conrad (ND) and Pat Roberts (KS) are introducing the “Open Fields” bill today.
The bill seeks to fund a program that would pay private landowners who voluntarily agree to allow hunters, anglers and others to access their land. The goal is to fund the program at $20 million a year and increase access to private lands by 4 million acres annually.
“We definitely support Open Fields,” said DU Director of Governmental Affairs Scott Sutherland. “It’s important to provide more access to lands for hunting and fishing.”
Sutherland says it’s equally important that Congress continue robust funding for conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program. These two farm bill conservation programs are responsible for more than 40 million acres of restored wildlife habitat on private lands nationally.
“More access to private lands and increasing wildlife habitat on private lands go hand in hand,” he said.
Several other conservation groups joined with Ducks Unlimited in supporting the Open Fields legislation.
Contact Neil Shader, Conservation Policy Specialist, 202-347-1530, firstname.lastname@example.org