On June 14 the House of Representatives Natural Resource Committee voted 28-15 in favor of the new Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, H.R. 1825.
Introduced by Representative Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), the new policy allows public access to lands under the authority of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management unless specific steps are taken to close them. The land governed by these organizations will be available for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting unless specific action is taken otherwise.
With this bill, all lands marked as wilderness, wilderness eligible or suitable, and primitive or semi-primitive are considered open to all legal forms of hunting, including the training of hunting dogs as well as field trials. The bill also helps protect hunts from lawsuits by groups interested in shutting down the sport.