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Daines Reintroduces Bill to Expand Recreation Opportunities

U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) have reintroduced the “Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act of 2023.” This bill would expand opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking and other wildlife- dependent activities in America.

“As a lifelong sportsman, I grew up hunting, fishing and backpacking and it’s a family tradition that I’ll pass down to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It’s all part of our Montana way of life,” Daines said. “This bipartisan bill will strengthen Montana’s outdoor recreation economy and open up more space for families and sportsmen to enjoy local wildlife for generations to come.”

“For years, this program has rewarded Colorado’s family farmers and ranchers for their efforts to improve wildlife habitat, provide new opportunities for sportsmen and women, and expand recreation options for Coloradans. I fought to expand funding for this program in the last Farm Bill, and I’ll continue to work to prioritize voluntary, successful programs like this one as we begin work on the 2023 Farm Bill,” Bennet said.

“As an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, some of my greatest memories are hunting and fishing with my kids. I fully support and am proud to introduce the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive program that encourages Kansans to open their land for the public to enjoy the great outdoors. Increased access to these outdoor recreational activities is good for our children and our shared American values,” Marshall said.

The “Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act” would reauthorize and strengthen the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program by increasing funding from $50 million to $150 million over five years. The VPA-HIP provides competitive grants to states and tribal governments to be used to incentivize private landowners to voluntarily open their lands for public use while upholding private property rights.

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