Senator Jon Tester today secured major victories for Montana sportsmen after the Senate passed key provisions from his legislation that increases public access for hunting and fishing, protects public lands, and expands shooting opportunities on public lands.

“Montanans have a proud outdoor heritage, and access to our public lands is critical to our rural way of life,” Tester said.  “This legislation will increase public access for folks who love to hunt, fish, and shoot and it has long been supported by outdoor enthusiasts across Montana.”

Tester successfully added an amendment that attached many of the provisions from his Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act to the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which is currently being considered by the Senate. The Energy Policy Modernization Act also permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Tester has championed for years.

Tester’s provisions from his Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act that were passed by the Senate today include the following:

  • Require at least $10 million of annual Land and Water Conservation Fund funding be available for improving public access to existing federal lands.
  • Direct land managers to identify and develop plans to provide access to high-priority lands for hunting, fishing, and shooting.
  • Require BLM and Forest Service lands to be open for hunting, fishing, and shooting.
  • Reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act through 2019.
  • Increase the states authority to fund shooting ranges on public lands.