HELENA, MT – April 12, 2018
The Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, of which MOGA is a member, joined nine other National sportsmen-conservation organizations that have announced their support of the GO Act (Senate Bill 2335) introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and co-sponsored by Sens. James E. Risch (ID), John Thune (SD), and Steve Daines (MT). These 10 organizations represent tens of thousands of hunting and conservation organizations.
The outfitting and guiding industry is a highly regulated partner to federal land managers. The use of licensed and permitted outfitters provides many Americans the opportunity to experience firsthand their vast public lands and national treasures. Providing for these experiences keeps these national treasures and the agencies that manage them relevant today.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and the outfitter and guide permitting authority it contains will expire on Sept. 30, 2019. In addition to reauthorization of permitting authority, the GO Act will correct key permitting problems that threaten access for the public and impact many small businesses operating under federal permits. The GO Act will enhance opportunities for other organized groups to run trips as well as facilitate responsible access for new activities.
In addition to renewing Forest Service and BLM permitting authority, the GO Act will:
– reduce federal costs by encouraging the use of previous environmental analyses when issuing permits for the same or similar activities
– establish a reasonable permit use review formula to allow for consideration waivers due to a lack of available hunting licenses or the impact of natural disasters like drought and fire
– require agencies to reduce permit processing times
– allow extensions of existing permits for periods up to five years
Other sportsmen-conservation organizations joining the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association in support of passage of the GO Act include The Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, Archery Trade Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Conservation Force, Houston Safari Club, National Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Sportsmen’s Alliance and Safari Club International.
Passage of the GO Act will serve as an important step to ensuring that the public has access to its national public lands and that the industry that supports that access is sustained.
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