3:58 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, the primary purpose of this underlying legislation is the premise that Federal lands should be open for hunting and fishing recreation rather than being closed. I believe this should be the policy of all of our multiple use Federal lands. The default option should be open regardless of whether your interests are mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, logging, building a solar energy facility, mining, wind power, or developing oil and gas. Our Nation's multiple use lands

were designed to be used for the benefit of the Nation. This open-before-closed concept is the foundation of what we are trying to do through this legislation.

[Time: 16:00]

We are trying to raise the bar of bureaucracy that the bureaucracy has placed between hunters and the outdoors.

Reckless disregard of our Nation's hunting and fishing traditions means too often our Federal lands are closed off arbitrarily, and not just without public input, but against public sentiment.

Now the gentleman is proposing that we give the Secretary another new tool to close lands, without scientific decisionmaking, without accounting for their actions. The gentleman proposes that we simply grant the Secretary the sole authority to dictate that we close off any and all of our Nation's lands from hunting and fishing based simply on the Secretary's mere opinion that hunting and fishing are a threat to our Nation's land because of climate change.

Hunting and fishing are traditions and foundations that this Nation was built upon. They are not burdens to our national lands. They are one of the many purposes of our national lands.

Just yesterday, Mr. Chairman, before the Rules Committee, one of my Democrat colleagues was commenting that he had a BB gun at age 7 and a .22 rifle at age 12. He talked about how, as a young man, he learned to respect guns and traditions. Yet that same Member is concerned about what children are learning today--the lack of respect for guns and the traditions of the outdoors.

Mr. Chairman, I believe that this is one of the many benefits and reasons that we are here today, to help restore the opportunity for hunting and fishing traditions to take root on our Federal lands, to remind our Federal land managers that the exercise of these traditions are not a burden on our lands but one of the foundations of our lands.

Finally, let me say this. Regardless of one's views on our climate, this amendment is not about climate change. It is about granting the Secretary a blank check to ban hunting and fishing. Nothing in the bill changes the Secretary's ability to manage our lands to ensure responsible management. The bill does require lands to be opened, however, before closed; but when closing lands, the Secretary must act in a measured fashion to ensure that our hunting and fishing traditions are protected and

valued.

I urge my colleagues to reject what I consider to be an antihunting and -fishing amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

3:58 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, the primary purpose of this underlying legislation is the premise that Federal lands should be open for hunting and fishing recreation rather than being closed. I believe this should be the policy of all of our multiple use Federal lands. The default option should be open regardless of whether your interests are mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, logging, building a solar energy facility, mining, wind power, or developing oil and gas. Our Nation's multiple use lands

were designed to be used for the benefit of the Nation. This open-before-closed concept is the foundation of what we are trying to do through this legislation.

[Time: 16:00]

We are trying to raise the bar of bureaucracy that the bureaucracy has placed between hunters and the outdoors.

Reckless disregard of our Nation's hunting and fishing traditions means too often our Federal lands are closed off arbitrarily, and not just without public input, but against public sentiment.

Now the gentleman is proposing that we give the Secretary another new tool to close lands, without scientific decisionmaking, without accounting for their actions. The gentleman proposes that we simply grant the Secretary the sole authority to dictate that we close off any and all of our Nation's lands from hunting and fishing based simply on the Secretary's mere opinion that hunting and fishing are a threat to our Nation's land because of climate change.

Hunting and fishing are traditions and foundations that this Nation was built upon. They are not burdens to our national lands. They are one of the many purposes of our national lands.

Just yesterday, Mr. Chairman, before the Rules Committee, one of my Democrat colleagues was commenting that he had a BB gun at age 7 and a .22 rifle at age 12. He talked about how, as a young man, he learned to respect guns and traditions. Yet that same Member is concerned about what children are learning today--the lack of respect for guns and the traditions of the outdoors.

Mr. Chairman, I believe that this is one of the many benefits and reasons that we are here today, to help restore the opportunity for hunting and fishing traditions to take root on our Federal lands, to remind our Federal land managers that the exercise of these traditions are not a burden on our lands but one of the foundations of our lands.

Finally, let me say this. Regardless of one's views on our climate, this amendment is not about climate change. It is about granting the Secretary a blank check to ban hunting and fishing. Nothing in the bill changes the Secretary's ability to manage our lands to ensure responsible management. The bill does require lands to be opened, however, before closed; but when closing lands, the Secretary must act in a measured fashion to ensure that our hunting and fishing traditions are protected and

valued.

I urge my colleagues to reject what I consider to be an antihunting and -fishing amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

3:58 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, the primary purpose of this underlying legislation is the premise that Federal lands should be open for hunting and fishing recreation rather than being closed. I believe this should be the policy of all of our multiple use Federal lands. The default option should be open regardless of whether your interests are mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, logging, building a solar energy facility, mining, wind power, or developing oil and gas. Our Nation's multiple use lands

were designed to be used for the benefit of the Nation. This open-before-closed concept is the foundation of what we are trying to do through this legislation.

[Time: 16:00]

We are trying to raise the bar of bureaucracy that the bureaucracy has placed between hunters and the outdoors.

Reckless disregard of our Nation's hunting and fishing traditions means too often our Federal lands are closed off arbitrarily, and not just without public input, but against public sentiment.

Now the gentleman is proposing that we give the Secretary another new tool to close lands, without scientific decisionmaking, without accounting for their actions. The gentleman proposes that we simply grant the Secretary the sole authority to dictate that we close off any and all of our Nation's lands from hunting and fishing based simply on the Secretary's mere opinion that hunting and fishing are a threat to our Nation's land because of climate change.

Hunting and fishing are traditions and foundations that this Nation was built upon. They are not burdens to our national lands. They are one of the many purposes of our national lands.

Just yesterday, Mr. Chairman, before the Rules Committee, one of my Democrat colleagues was commenting that he had a BB gun at age 7 and a .22 rifle at age 12. He talked about how, as a young man, he learned to respect guns and traditions. Yet that same Member is concerned about what children are learning today--the lack of respect for guns and the traditions of the outdoors.

Mr. Chairman, I believe that this is one of the many benefits and reasons that we are here today, to help restore the opportunity for hunting and fishing traditions to take root on our Federal lands, to remind our Federal land managers that the exercise of these traditions are not a burden on our lands but one of the foundations of our lands.

Finally, let me say this. Regardless of one's views on our climate, this amendment is not about climate change. It is about granting the Secretary a blank check to ban hunting and fishing. Nothing in the bill changes the Secretary's ability to manage our lands to ensure responsible management. The bill does require lands to be opened, however, before closed; but when closing lands, the Secretary must act in a measured fashion to ensure that our hunting and fishing traditions are protected and

valued.

I urge my colleagues to reject what I consider to be an antihunting and -fishing amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

4:02 PM EST
Gerry Connolly, D-VA 11th

Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague.

As the cochair of the Green Dogs of the SEEC Caucus, I rise in support of this amendment and proud to cosponsor it.

The bill before us purports to be about expanding opportunities for sportsmen on Federal lands, yet it fails to recognize the significant effect climate change will have on such opportunities. For example, what will climate change mean for hunters who are forced away from parks because of drought or threat of wildfire? As we witnessed this year, wildfire seasons are now longer, larger, and longer-term than ever before because of climate change. The migratory patterns of ducks and, for that matter,

the patterns of fish, to name just two species, are also being negatively affected.

What will climate change mean for anglers who find streams drying up and killing fish? Last September, Montana officials closed the Blackfoot River--not the Secretary, they did--the iconic backdrop for the book and film, ``A River Runs Through It,'' to protect fish from the stress of low-level river flows.

Mr. Chairman, if we really want to protect and expand outdoor recreational opportunities, shouldn't we understand what climate change will mean, not only for hunters, but for the affected wildlife and their habitat?

I urge my colleagues to support this simple, commonsense amendment.

4:02 PM EST
Gerry Connolly, D-VA 11th

Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague.

As the cochair of the Green Dogs of the SEEC Caucus, I rise in support of this amendment and proud to cosponsor it.

The bill before us purports to be about expanding opportunities for sportsmen on Federal lands, yet it fails to recognize the significant effect climate change will have on such opportunities. For example, what will climate change mean for hunters who are forced away from parks because of drought or threat of wildfire? As we witnessed this year, wildfire seasons are now longer, larger, and longer-term than ever before because of climate change. The migratory patterns of ducks and, for that matter,

the patterns of fish, to name just two species, are also being negatively affected.

What will climate change mean for anglers who find streams drying up and killing fish? Last September, Montana officials closed the Blackfoot River--not the Secretary, they did--the iconic backdrop for the book and film, ``A River Runs Through It,'' to protect fish from the stress of low-level river flows.

Mr. Chairman, if we really want to protect and expand outdoor recreational opportunities, shouldn't we understand what climate change will mean, not only for hunters, but for the affected wildlife and their habitat?

I urge my colleagues to support this simple, commonsense amendment.

4:04 PM EST
Rush Holt, D-NJ 12th

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remaining time just to address a couple of points that my friend, the chair, from Washington has raised.

There is nothing in this amendment that gives the Secretary any new authority. It simply says that the Secretary should consider climate change in policies for managing these lands.

Climate change is the problem that needs to be addressed. You can deny it all you want, but climate change will do more to restrict hunting and fishing and recreation on public lands than these imagined administrative reductions or restrictions or lawsuits or restrictions on lead shot or any of those things.

There are a variety of adaptation strategies to promote resilience of fish and wildlife populations and forests and plant communities and freshwater resources and ocean resources. These are being studied by academic and scientific and, yes, government and nonprofit organizations.

A great deal of thought is going into this. We want to make sure that there is nothing that restricts the Secretary from using these best adaptation strategies, these best management practices, to take into account what is real. It is not imagined. The climate is changing. It is affecting the ecology of all of these public lands.

I urge support of this amendment and yield back the balance of my time.

4:04 PM EST
Rush Holt, D-NJ 12th

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remaining time just to address a couple of points that my friend, the chair, from Washington has raised.

There is nothing in this amendment that gives the Secretary any new authority. It simply says that the Secretary should consider climate change in policies for managing these lands.

Climate change is the problem that needs to be addressed. You can deny it all you want, but climate change will do more to restrict hunting and fishing and recreation on public lands than these imagined administrative reductions or restrictions or lawsuits or restrictions on lead shot or any of those things.

There are a variety of adaptation strategies to promote resilience of fish and wildlife populations and forests and plant communities and freshwater resources and ocean resources. These are being studied by academic and scientific and, yes, government and nonprofit organizations.

A great deal of thought is going into this. We want to make sure that there is nothing that restricts the Secretary from using these best adaptation strategies, these best management practices, to take into account what is real. It is not imagined. The climate is changing. It is affecting the ecology of all of these public lands.

I urge support of this amendment and yield back the balance of my time.

4:06 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I just want to point out that the gentleman wanted to clarify by saying this doesn't give authority, but the Secretary should consider. What if the Secretary considers under current law and then decides to take action?

That is the point of the argument that I made, and that is that that action, then, on climate change could cause limited or no access to our public lands. That is why I said this amendment is kind of cloaked in different clothing, because it does not speak to climate change; in fact, it speaks to the potential closing of our public lands.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt). [Page: H1583]

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

4:06 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I just want to point out that the gentleman wanted to clarify by saying this doesn't give authority, but the Secretary should consider. What if the Secretary considers under current law and then decides to take action?

That is the point of the argument that I made, and that is that that action, then, on climate change could cause limited or no access to our public lands. That is why I said this amendment is kind of cloaked in different clothing, because it does not speak to climate change; in fact, it speaks to the potential closing of our public lands.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt). [Page: H1583]

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.