“On behalf of NRA members, gun owners and hunters, I’d like to thank President Bush for his steadfast support of national hunter heritage protection policies,” said Chris W. Cox, National Rifle Association’s (NRA) chief lobbyist. “As a life-long hunter, the President appreciates the essential life lessons learned in the field and countless benefits realized by America’s hunting families. In addition, President Bush understands that hunters are the nation’s true conservationists.”
This groundbreaking executive order compliments NRA’s long-standing efforts to protect and enhance hunting opportunities. These efforts include state laws eliminating barriers to youth participation, no-net-loss of public hunting lands initiatives, voluntary programs encouraging landowners to provide public hunting access to their lands and robust federal funding of critical wildlife habitat conservation programs.
The executive order details a number of specific strategic policies. Some provisions include:
· Evaluate trends in hunting participation and where appropriate address declining trends and implement actions that expand and enhance hunting opportunities for the public;
· Consider economic and recreational values of hunting in agency action;
· Manage wildlife and wildlife habitats, including wildlife management planning, to expand and enhance hunting opportunities.
This order will also encourage collaboration between Federal agencies and State governments to establish short and long term planning and managing goals for conserving public lands and game species and promote expanded hunting opportunities.
“Anti-hunting groups have long fought to dismantle public hunting land in an effort to eradicate America’s sporting heritage," added Cox. "This order guarantees that the hunters of tomorrow will enjoy the traditions and learn the skills their parents and grandparents mastered in the woods.
“America provides hunters with the richest opportunities anywhere in the world and is home to vast wildlife habitats coast-to-coast,” concluded Cox. “The President’s order will safeguard our treasured hunting heritage for generations to come and promote programs to protect diverse lands critical for wildlife species.”
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.