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The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senator
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy
Mr. Chairman, I support this bill introduced by Senators Reid, Hatch and Kyl and several others. The bill simply reaffirms state authority over reasonable requirements for hunting and fishing activities within the borders of each state.
Senators Reid, Stevens, Hatch and Kyl, and the other cosponors, have done a good job of balancing state, federal and tribal interests in fish and wildlife management in this bill. The bill neither enlarges nor diminishes state authority. It continues the current, traditional jurisdiction given to states to implement reasonable requirements for hunters and anglers.
The bill also makes it clear that its passage will not effect federal law, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, relating to wildlife management or protection or diminish federal authority over federal land. In addition, it makes clear that it will not alter any rights of Indian tribes.
In Vermont, the State Fish and Wildlife Department has always had jurisdiction over fish and wildlife regulation. It is best suited to manage permit numbers, license fees, season dates and hunt areas. We should uphold this jurisdiction by moving forward on this bill.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to put a statement by Senator Reid into the record along with a letter from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in support of the bill.