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Things We Can Agree On: Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation

Photo: Senator Kay Hagan is co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsman's Act of 2014. Courtesy:
Photo: Senator Kay Hagan is co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsman's Act of 2014. Courtesy:
February 6, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. – At a time when few hands are reaching across the aisle in Washington, Sen. Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat, is joining Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in introducing legislation that would protect outdoor recreation, wildlife and natural resources in North Carolina and across the country.

"We took some of the best ideas from Republicans and Democrats,” Hagan explains. “We put them together, we crafted a package of 12 bills that can break through the Washington partisan gridlock and win support and ultimately be signed into law. "

The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 includes bills that provide secure funding for public lands and the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Richard Mode, North Carolina Wildlife Federation board member and National Wildlife Federation sportsmen coordinator, says sportsman and conservationists alike are supportive of what the Sportsmen's Act of 2014 can offer.

"These programs will provide the resources for wildlife professionals to proceed with the conservation and adaptation projects on public lands," he explains.

Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, says the changes the Sportsmen's Act would initiate will benefit the state's bottom line, since outdoor recreation generates an estimated $19 billion in North Carolina annually and supports 192,000 jobs.

"It's a very important economic sector in North Carolina and improving opportunities for people to hunt, fish, shoot and enjoy the outdoors,” he explains. “It also translates to a positive impact on our outdoor recreation economy."

Over the next year, three major retailers – Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain – are opening locations in the Triangle area.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC