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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
4/17/2012--Passed House amended. Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 - Title I: Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities - Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act - (Sec. 104) Requires federal public land management officials to facilitate the use of, and access to, federal public lands, including Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, or lands administratively classified as wilderness eligible or suitable and primitive or semi-primitive areas, for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting, except as limited by: (1) statutory authority that authorizes or withholds action for reasons of national security, public safety, or resource conservation; (2) any other federal statute that specifically precludes recreational fishing, hunting, or shooting on specific federal public lands or waters; and (3) discretionary limitations on recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting determined to be necessary and reasonable.
Requires the heads of federal public land management agencies to exercise their discretion in a manner that supports and facilitates recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting opportunities, to the extent authorized under applicable state law.
Requires public land planning documents to include specific evaluations of the effects of such plans on opportunities to engage in recreational fishing, hunting, or shooting.
Prohibits actions taken under this Act or actions concerning the National Wildlife Refuge System under the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 from being considered to be a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.
Prohibits federal public land management officials from being required to consider the existence or availability of recreational fishing, hunting, or shooting opportunities on adjacent or nearby public or private lands in the planning for or determination of which federal public lands are open for such activities or in the setting of levels of use for such activities, unless the combination or coordination of such opportunities would enhance the recreational fishing, hunting, or shooting opportunities available to the public.
Sets forth provisions concerning the use of volunteers in culling or managing wildlife populations on public land if hunting is prohibited on such land.
Requires Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service lands, excluding lands on the Outer Continental Shelf, to be open to recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting unless the managing agency acts to close such lands to such activity for purposes of resource conservation, public safety, energy or mineral production, energy generation or transmission infrastructure, water supply facilities, protection of other permittees, protection or private property rights or interests, national security, or compliance with other law.
Requires the heads of federal agencies to use their authorities consistently with this Act to: (1) lease their lands or permit use of their lands for shooting ranges, and (2) designate specific lands for recreational shooting activities. Prohibits such designation from subjecting the United States to any civil action or claim for damages for injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by any activity occurring at or on such designated land.
Declares that the provision of opportunities for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and the conservation of fish and wildlife to provide sustainable use recreational opportunities on designated wilderness areas on federal public lands constitutes the measures necessary to meet the minimum requirements for the administration of such areas.
Provides that any requirements imposed by the Wilderness Act shall be implemented only insofar as they do not prevent federal public land management officials and state fish and wildlife officials from carrying out their wildlife conservation responsibilities or providing recreational opportunities on the federal public lands subject to a wilderness designation.
Requires biennial reports on closures of federal public lands to recreational fishing, sport hunting, or shooting. Sets forth requirements for a permanent or temporary withdrawal, change of classification, or change of management status that effectively closes or significantly restricts 640 or more contiguous acres of federal public lands for fishing or hunting or related activities. Treats separate withdrawals or changes, the aggregate or cumulative effect of which effectively closes or significantly restricts 1280 or more acres of land or water, as a single withdrawal or change for purposes of such requirements.
Provides that nothing in this Act prohibits a federal land management agency from establishing or implementing emergency closures or restrictions of the smallest practicable area to provide for public safety, resource conservation, national security, or other purposes authorized by law. Requires such an emergency closure to terminate after a reasonable period unless converted to a permanent closure consistent with this Act.
Title II: Recreational Shooting Protection - Recreational Shooting Protection Act - (Sec. 203) Requires national monument land under BLM's jurisdiction to be open to access and use for recreational shooting, except as limited by the Director of BLM for reasons of national security or public safety or to comply with an applicable federal or state law. Prohibits the issuance of closures or restrictions on such land that are substantially similar to closures or restrictions that were previously issued and not approved by federal law, unless, as a result of a change in circumstances, such closures or restrictions are supported by such reasons.
Requires the Director, before a restriction or closure may become effective, to: (1) publish public notice of the closure or restriction in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where it will be carried out; and (2) report to Congress on the location and extent of, and evidence justifying, such closure or restriction. Ends such a closure or restriction: (1) six months after the Director submits such report, unless the closure or restriction has been approved by federal law; or (2) 30 days after the enactment of a federal law disapproving it.
Requires management of BLM national monument land: (1) in a manner that supports, promotes, and enhances recreational shooting opportunities; (2) to the extent authorized under state law; and (3) in accordance with applicable federal law.
Requires the Director to report on BLM national monument land that was closed to recreational shooting or on which recreational shooting was restricted.
Provides that nothing in this title authorizes the Director to require a license. fee, or permit for recreational shooting on land or water in a state, including on federal public land in the state.
Requires provisions in the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act and the Recreational Shooting Protection Act to take precedence and apply in any instance when such provisions may be construed to apply in an inconsistent manner to national monument land.
Title III: Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness - Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2012 - (Sec. 302) Amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue a permit for the importation of any polar bear part (other than an internal organ) from a polar bear taken in a sport hunt in Canada to any person: (1) who submits proof that the polar bear was legally harvested before February 18, 1997; or (2) who has submitted, in support of an application submitted before May 15, 2008, proof that the bear was legally harvested before such date from a polar bear population from which a sport-hunted trophy could be imported before such date. (Polar bears were listed as a threatened species by the Department of the Interior on May 14, 2008.)
Title IV: Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection - Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act - (Sec. 402) Amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to exclude from the definition of "chemical substance" for purposes of such Act: (1) any component of any pistol, revolver, firearm, shell, or cartridge the sale of which is subject to federal excise tax, including shot, bullets and other projectiles, propellants, and primers; and (2) any sport fishing equipment the sale of which is subject to federal excise tax and sport fishing equipment components.
Title V: Hunting in Kisatchie National Forest - Prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from restricting the use of dogs in deer hunting activities within the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana unless those restrictions apply to the smallest practicable parts of such Forest and are necessary to reduce or control of trespassing onto adjacent land. Nullifies any existing restrictions on the use of dogs for deer hunting in such Forest.
Title VI: Designation of and Restrictions on National Monuments - Prohibits a national monument designated by presidential proclamation from being valid until each state within the boundaries of the proposed national monument has approved of such designation.
Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from implementing any restrictions on the public use of a national monument until the expiration of an appropriate review period providing for public input.