Sen. Jon Tester to be honored in Missoula by Boone and Crockett Club
WHAT: Tester will be recognized by the Boone and Crockett Club for his work to improve access for hunters nationwide. Club president emeritus Lowell E. Baier will present a plaque and remarks.
Rarely in the Club’s 123-year history has Boone and Crockett formally honored an individual outside the Club for efforts to improve America’s hunting heritage or wildlife conservation. But Club officials say Tester stands out among his peers for his persistent and remarkable work on behalf of sportsmen and women.
WHEN: A short outdoor ceremony will begin promptly at 11:15 a.m., Friday, Sept. 2
WHERE: Boone and Crockett Club headquarters, 250 Station Drive, Missoula, 59801
WHY: Tester’s legislation, the Making Public Lands Public Act (S. 901), would provide funding for improving public access to existing federal lands. The secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior would be required to utilize 1.5 percent, or a minimum of $10 million annually, of their Land and Water Conservation Fund budgets to acquire public access to existing federal lands through easements, rights-of-way, or fee title acquisitions from willing sellers. If passed, the bill has the potential to open hundreds of thousands of acres of federal public land to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities each year.
Nearly half of all hunters use public lands, but a report to Congress shows more than 35 million acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have inadequate hunter access. Lack of access to hunting grounds is cited as the No. 1 reason why hunters drop out and cease contributing to conservation.