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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 26, 2016.
Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act or the SHARE Act
This bill revises a variety of existing programs to expand access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting.
TITLE I--HUNTING, FISHING AND RECREATIONAL SHOOTING PROTECTION ACT
Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act
(Sec. 102) Components of firearms and ammunition and sport fishing equipment and its components (such as lead sinkers) are exempted from regulation of chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
(Sec. 103) The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture (USDA) may not regulate the use of ammunition and fishing tackle based on their lead content if such use complies with state law. This limitation is inapplicable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Park Service (NPS).
TITLE II--TARGET PRACTICE AND MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING SUPPORT ACT
Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act
(Sec. 204) The bill amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act by increasing the proportion of: (1) funding from that Act that states may use for public target ranges, and (2) the federal share of costs for public target ranges. A public target range is a specific location that is identified for recreational shooting.
(Sec. 205) The bill shields the United States from any civil action or claim for money damages for injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by an activity occurring at a public target range that is funded by the federal government pursuant to such Act or located on federal land, except to the extent provided under the Federal Tort Claims Act with respect to the exercise or performance of a discretionary function.
(Sec. 206) The bill urges the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cooperate with state and local authorities and other entities to carry out waste removal and other activities on any federal land used as a public target range. TITLE III--POLAR BEAR CONSERVATION AND FAIRNESS ACT
Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act
(Sec. 302) The bill amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 by requiring Interior to issue permits to allow a hunter to import polar bear parts (other than internal organs) if the bear was legally harvested in Canada from an approved population before the May 15, 2008, listing of the polar bear as threatened.
TITLE IV--RECREATIONAL LANDS SELF-DEFENSE ACT
Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act
(Sec. 402) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may not prohibit individuals from possessing a firearm in public areas of a water resources development project.
TITLE V--WILDLIFE AND HUNTING HERITAGE CONSERVATION COUNCIL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Sec. 501) The bill replaces the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council with the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee. TITLE VI--RECREATIONAL FISHING AND HUNTING HERITAGE OPPORTUNITIES ACT Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act
(Sec. 603) Federal land management officials must facilitate the use of, and access to, federal lands for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting with specified exceptions.
Interior must integrate wildlife-dependent recreational uses into regulations, policies, criteria, plans, or other activities to amend the manner in which individual refuges or the National Wildlife Refuge System are managed.
Actions taken under this title or the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 may not be considered to be a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
The bill requires 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 activities for purposes of resource conservation, public safety, energy production, water supply facilities, or national security.
Heads of federal agencies must use their authorities to lease their lands or permit use of their lands for shooting ranges, and designate specific lands for recreational shooting activities.
(Sec. 604) The bill establishes requirements for a permanent or temporary withdrawal, change of classification, or change of management status that effectively closes or significantly restricts public lands for fishing or hunting or related activities.
TITLE VII--FARMER AND HUNTER PROTECTION ACT
Hunter and Farmer Protection Act
(Sec. 702) The bill amends the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to revise standards for determining what constitutes baiting for purposes of the prohibition on taking migratory game birds.
In the case of waterfowl, cranes, and coots, a baited area includes a standing, unharvested crop that has been manipulated through activities such as mowing, discing, or rolling, unless the activities are normal agricultural practices. An area is not considered to be a baited area if it: (1) has been treated with a normal agricultural practice, (2) has standing crops that have not been manipulated, or (3) has standing crops that have been or are flooded.
USDA must submit to Interior a report on changes to normal agricultural practices across the range of crops grown by agricultural producers in each region of the United States in which USDA harvest practice recommendations are provided to agricultural producers. TITLE VIII--TRANSPORTING BOWS ACROSS NATIONAL PARK SERVICE LANDS
Hunter Access Corridors Act
(Sec. 802) The NPS may not prohibit individuals from transporting bows and crossbows if certain requirements are met.
The NPS may establish hunter access corridors. Actions taken to establish such corridors may not be considered to be a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under the NEPA.
TITLE IX--FEDERAL LAND TRANSACTION FACILITATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION (FLTFA)
Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization
(Sec. 902) The bill amends the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA), including by permanently authorizing Interior to sell certain public land and use the proceeds from those sales for acquiring land located within or adjacent to federal lands.
The bill expands the program by allowing lands to be acquired from those proceeds for: (1) hunting, recreational fishing, recreational shooting, and other recreational activities; or (2) deferred maintenance activities that enhance opportunities for recreational access.
Interior must establish and maintain a public database containing a comprehensive list of all public land identified for disposal.
TITLE X--AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND LEGAL IVORY POSSESSION ACT
African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act
The bill revises and reauthorizes the African Elephant Conservation Act through FY2020.
(Sec. 1003) Ivory may be imported or exported under that Act and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 if: (1) the raw ivory or worked ivory is for a museum; (2) it was lawfully importable into the United States on February 24, 2014, regardless of when it was acquired; or (3) the worked ivory was previously lawfully possessed in the United States.
This bill authorizes commerce in African elephant ivory or in products containing African elephant ivory that have been lawfully imported or crafted in the United States. (Sec. 1004) Interior may station USFWS law enforcement officers in each African country that has a significant population of African elephants to assist local wildlife rangers in protecting the elephants and facilitating the apprehension of individuals who illegally kill them or assist in killing them.
(Sec. 1005) The President may embargo any products from a country if it is a significant transit or destination point for illegal ivory trade.
(Sec. 1006) Interior's only means for determining whether trade in African elephant ivory is legal are the means used as of February 24, 2014, including any presumption or the burden of proof applied in those determinations. (Sec. 1007) The bill authorizes the importation of a sport-hunted African elephant trophy if the trophy was taken from certain elephants populations that at the time were not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may have become so unless trade was closely controlled. (Sec. 1008) In providing financial assistance under the African Elephant Conservation Act, Interior must prioritize projects for facilitating the acquisition of equipment and training to wildlife officials in ivory-producing countries to be used in anti-poaching efforts. (Sec. 1009) The Government Accountability Office must study and report on the effects of a ban of the trade in of fossilized ivory from mammoths and mastodons on the illegal importation and trade of African and Asian elephant ivory within the United States, with the exception of importation or trade related to museum exhibitions or scientific research. TITLE XI--RESPECT FOR TREATIES AND RIGHTS
(Sec. 1101) The bill may not be construed to affect any treaty or other right of a federally recognized Indian tribe. TITLE XII--PERMITS FOR FILM CREWS OF FIVE PEOPLE OR LESS (Sec. 1201) This bill provides special rules to expand access to federal land and waterways for film crews of five people or fewer.
TITLE XIII--STATE APPROVAL OF FISHING RESTRICTION
(Sec. 1301) Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration must obtain approval from the relevant fish and wildlife management agency of a state or territory before restricting fishing access to state or territorial marine waters (including coastal waters and estuaries) or Great Lakes waters that are within the jurisdiction of the NPS or the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
TITLE XIV--HUNTING AND RECREATIONAL FISHING WITHIN CERTAIN NATIONAL FORESTS
(Sec. 1402) USDA and the Forest Service may not establish policies, directives, or regulations that restrict the type, season, or method of hunting or recreational fishing on lands within the National Forest System that are otherwise open to those activities and are consistent with the applicable forest plan if those lands are located in: (1) the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana; (2) the De Soto National Forest in Mississippi; (3) the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri; and (4) the Ozark National Forest, the St. Francis National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
(Sec. 1403) The Forest Service must publish a notice of the closure of any public road on Forest System lands, along with a justification for the closure.
TITLE XV--GRAND CANYON BISON MANAGEMENT ACT Grand Canyon Bison Management Act (Sec. 1503) Interior must publish a management plan to reduce, through humane lethal culling by skilled public volunteers and other nonlethal means, the population of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona that Interior determines are detrimental to the uses of the park.
Those volunteers may remove a full bison harvested from the park.
Interior must coordinate with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission regarding the development and implementation of the management plan.
TITLE XVI--OPEN BOOK ON EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
(Sec. 1602) The bill amends the Equal Access to Justice Act and the federal judicial code to require the Administrative Conference of the United States to make an initial report on the amount of fees and other expenses awarded to nonfederal entities when they prevail against the United States in certain administrative proceedings and civil action cases. The conference must report on those fees and expenses for the next six years after the initial report was submitted. Those reports must: (1) describe information that may aid Congress in evaluating the scope and impact of such awards; and (2) be made available to the public online.
The conference must create online a searchable database that contains certain information concerning the awards. The database must be maintained until a year after the final report is submitted. TITLE XVII--UTILITY TERRAIN VEHICLES
(Sec. 1701) The Forest Administrator must amend the applicable travel plan to allow utility terrain vehicles access on all roads nominated by the Secretary of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries in the Kisatchie National Forest, except when the designation would pose an unacceptable safety risk, in which case the administrator must publish a notice in the Federal Register with a justification for the closure.
TITLE XVIII--GOOD SAMARITAN SEARCH AND RECOVERY
Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act
(Sec. 1802) This bill directs Interior and USDA to implement a process to provide eligible organizations and individuals expedited access to federal land to conduct good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions, which are searches for one or more missing individuals believed to be deceased at the time that the search is initiated.
The bill sets forth procedures for the approval or denial of requests made by eligible organizations or individuals to carry out a good Samaritan search-and-recovery mission.
Interior and USDA must develop search-and-recovery focused partnerships with search-and-recovery organizations to coordinate good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions, and expedite and accelerate mission efforts for finding missing individuals. TITLE XIX--INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION
(Sec. 1901) This title amends the federal criminal code by permitting an individual to transport a firearm between two states where it is legal to possess, carry, or transport firearms. The firearm must be unloaded and securely stored during transport.
A firearm transported by means other than a motor vehicle (e.g. air) must be secured in a locked container or a gun storage or safety device.
Individuals may also transport ammunition between two states where it is legal to possess, carry, or transport ammunition. Ammunition transported by motor vehicle must be inaccessible from the vehicle's passenger compartment. If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the ammunition must be secured in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Ammunition transported by other means must be secured in a locked container.
Individuals may not be arrested or detained for violation of any state or local law or regulation related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms or ammunition unless there is probable cause to believe that the individual failed to securely store them during transport.
When a person asserts compliance with this title as a defense in a criminal proceeding: (1) the prosecution must bear the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person's conduct did not satisfy federal conditions; and (2) the court must award the prevailing defendant a reasonable attorney's fee.
The bill authorizes a person who is deprived of a right, privilege or immunity secured by federal firearms provisions to bring an action in court for damages and other appropriate relief.
TITLE XX--GRAY WOLVES
(Sec. 2001) Interior must reissue: (1) the final rule published on December 28, 2011, that removed the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and that removed the designation of critical habitat for that wolf in Minnesota and Michigan; and (2) the final rule published on September 10, 2012, that removed the gray wolf in Wyoming from the list and removed the Yellowstone Experimental Protection Area that was established to facilitate reintroduction of the wolf. Reissued rules are not subject to judicial review.
TITLE XXI--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS (Sec. 2101) The USFWS may not issue a final rule that succeeds, or is substantially similar to, the proposed rule entitled, "Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska," published on January 8, 2016, that specifies allowable predator control practices in wildlife refuges in Alaska.
(Sec. 2102) The NPS must withdraw the final rule entitled, "Alaska; Hunting and Trapping in National Preserves," published on October 23, 2015.