Game & Fish direc­tor pushes wildlife bill

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

Jeff Crow, direc­tor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Com­mis­sion, urged the Se­nate En­vi­ron­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee to pass the Hunt­ing Her­itage and En­vi­ron­men­tal Legacy Preser­va­tion for Wildlife Act.

The bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion is co-spon­sored by U.S. Sen. John Booz­man, and has the sup­port of dozens of groups, in­clud­ing Ducks Un­lim­ited, Trout Un­lim­ited and the Rocky Moun­tain Elk Foun­da­tion.

Among other things, the bill reau­tho­rizes the North Amer­i­can Wet­lands Con­ser­va­tion Act, a law that has helped to pro­tect thou­sands of acres of mi­gra­tory-bird habi­tat in Arkansas.

The leg­is­la­tion also would of­fer pro­tec­tion for farm­ers who al­low duck hunt­ing on their prop­erty. If ap­proved, farm­ers could use nor­mal agri­cul­tural prac­tices or leave stand­ing crops in flood­ing ar­eas with­out vi­o­lat­ing anti-bait­ing pro­vi­sions.

The mea­sure would be wel­comed by Arkansas rice grow­ers, who pos­sess highly cov­eted hunt­ing grounds.

Crow’s Capi­tol Hill tes­ti­mony Wed­nes­day noted the im­por­tance of out­door re­cre­ation to the state. About 100,000 peo­ple hunt ducks in Arkansas each year. Wa­ter­fowl hunt­ing sup­ported more than 4,700 jobs and gen­er­ated more than $236 mil­lion in an­nual re­tail sales, he said, cit­ing a 2011 sur­vey.

“These sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tions can­not be over­looked and pro­vide much-needed eco­nomic sta­bil­ity for our state,” he added.

Booz­man, who serves on the com­mit­tee, said it was good to have Crow on the panel.

“No­body’s more knowl­edge­able,” the Repub­li­can from Rogers said. “We’re just pleased that we’ve got some­body of this cal­iber.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.