RFA Congressional Action Alert
Sent in from a BFT user.
all know, the primary law that governs our nations
marine fisheries, The Magnuson Stevens Act, needs to
be substantially revised. Since its inception in 1976,
the Magnuson Act has rarely ever given credence to the
conservation, economic, or quality of life concerns of
America's 19million saltwater anglers.
This past year, the message from Capitol Hill was that
the majority of the work for the Magnuson
reauthorization process and final passage of the bill
was not going to take place until 2003.
Late on Thursday, May 16th, Congressman Wayne T.
Gilchrist, Chairman of the House of Representatives
Fisheries, Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
Subcommittee introduced legislation that will probably
serve as the primary vehicle for the reauthorization
of Magnuson and has decided to set an extremely fast
pace for the reauthorization process. Mr. Gilchrest
intends to hold a 'mark-up' hearing on Thursday, May
23rd, and it is the understanding of all interested
parties that Mr. Gilchrest intends to complete the
process of moving his bill, H.R. 4749, through the
committee process and to the full House of
Representatives by the end of June, 2002.
Traditionally, when legislation of this importance is
introduced, there is a substantial period of time
before further action is taken so that all interested
parties have the opportunity to review, analyze, and
comment on the proposed legislation. Yet in this case,
the legislation is being moved forward at a blistering
pace with little in the way of substantial
recreational input! The RFA has been in close contact
with many commercial and environmental organizations,
and they agree; the process of reauthorizing Magnuson
needs to be deliberative and include the views of all
interested parties. Not just a select few and then
rush a bill through as quickly as possible. Once done,
we will live with Magnuson for a LONG time!
We must convince Mr. Gilchrest that the process of
reauthorizing Magnuson needs to be deliberative rather
than expedited, and allow for input from anglers
around the country. We are particularly concerned
about the failure to address long-standing
recreational angler concerns including council
structures, adequate standards and safeguards for
Individual Fishing Quotas, Marine Protected Areas, and
the impact regulations have on the business we own,
work for, or support.
Due to the short amount of time available to make your
concerns known, please contact Chairman Gilchrest by
3pm, EDT, on Tuesday, May 21st. Fax is the most
preferable method, but an email will be helpful. Phone
calls will help, too.
Contact points for Mr. Gilchrest are:
Please watch for further action alerts as we go
through the process of renewing this law. If you wish
to be included on an e-alert system for fast-changing
activities as we go through the Magnuson
reauthorization process, send an email to
Now is the time for recreational anglers to be heard
as they have never been before. Please distribute the
letter to as many anglers as you can by the deadline.
Monday, May 27, 2002
Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest
2254 Rayburn Office Building.
Washington DC, 20515
Dear Chairman Gilchrist:
As a member of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, I
have an intense interest in the laws that govern our
nation's saltwater fisheries. I am writing you
regarding the importance of slowing the
reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act. It is my current
understanding that you intend to “fast track”
reauthorization and are seeking the release of a
completed version of the Act from the House Resources
Committee by the end of June. Such an expedited
process will not allow for thorough debate of issues
that are critical to stakeholders and constituents.
Once this act is reauthorized and passed we will all
have to live with it for a long time. It will greatly
impact the marine ecosystem, the recreational
community, and the many businesses that are dependent
on America's 19 million saltwater anglers. Please take
the necessary time to allow the various stakeholders
and constituents around the country to evaluate and
comment on the many aspects and impacts of this
Thank you for your consideration.
| Featured Fishing Ads|
| More Featured Fishing Sites|