Jason Smith Bill Passes to Protect Rights of Missouri Hunters and Fishermen
Washington, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed two amendments authored by Representative Jason Smith (MO-08) to preserve the ability of Missourians to freely hunt and fish in the Mark Twain National Forest and other public lands. During passage of H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, the U.S. House voted to adopt language offered by Representative Smith on the House Floor which prevents the National Forest Service from physically blocking or locking any access point to the Mark Twain National Forest for hunters and fisherman, and affirming in U.S. law that no bureaucrat in Washington can write any rule or regulation preventing Sportsmen access to the Mark Twain.
On the House Floor, Representative Smith commented, “The great outdoors and hunting traditions of the United States are a way of life for folks all across this great country. Throughout our history they have been championed by Presidents George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and to Teddy Roosevelt who established national forests, game preserves, and national parks,” Smith said. “My amendments provide assurances to the residents of Missouri that no executive order, no executive action, and no bureaucrat sitting in a Washington, D.C. office can write a rule inhibiting the ability to hunt or fish in the Mark Twain National Forest. This amendment secures our freedom to be avid sportsmen and enjoy our beautiful National Forests.”
The SHARE act enhances access to federal lands for sportsmen and protects the Second Amendment rights of hunters through the revision of a variety of existing programs to expand access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. The Smith Amendments help specifically protect the roughly 1.3 million Missourians who hunt or fish in the Mark Twain National Forest.
Rep. Smith was determined to offer the amendments after he heard from numerous hunters and fisherman who said that during the peak of hunting season they were commonly finding different access points to the Mark Twain National Forest blocked. The Mark Twain National Forest covers 2,331 square miles and roughly 1.5 million acres, the majority of which reside in the 8th Congressional District.