Advancing a bipartisan conservation legacy
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Each year countless memories are made while hunting and fishing in America’s great outdoors. Many of us have moments from our childhood that bring us back to the time and place when we reeled in that prized fish or tracked-down that first buck.

These moments bind together outdoorsmen and women with a common shared experience that unites folks from every walk of life. These moments can spur great ideas and help bring us together around smart conservation policy that transcends political affiliation.

In an era when partisanship is all too common, conservation remains a rallying point uniting both Democrats and Republicans. This can be most clearly seen with the bipartisan consensus driving the success behind America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.

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Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Senators to meet with Zelensky after impeachment trial GOP senators defend Sondland, Vindman ousters: They weren't 'loyal' MORE (R-Wyo.), and the committee’s Democratic counterpart, Ranking Member Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge EPA will regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water MORE (Del.), understand that conservation is a consensus builder. By working with a coalition of outdoor groups, they built a broad legislative package to support fisheries, wetlands and wildlife.

This bipartisan legislation provides support for conservation projects across the country giving it appeal to lawmakers from every region. From reauthorizing the Chesapeake Bay Program to combating chronic wasting disease and controlling the spread of invasive species, this legislation brings regional and differing political interests together.

It also includes important provisions that have passed on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act have both been cleared by wide bipartisan margins in the House, helping to give it a bicameral appeal.

As common-sense conservation policy, the ACE Act expands opportunities for hunters and anglers. When outdoorsmen and women have access to abundant and healthy water and land resources, it encourages higher participation in the outdoor recreation economy. As a growing force, outdoor recreation contributes more than $425 billion in economic output supporting jobs and communities across the nation.

It should not be overlooked that the ACE Act passed the U.S. Senate earlier this month with unanimous support. Sound conservation legislation, like the ACE Act, brought together all one hundred U.S. senators underscoring how America’s great outdoor heritage remains an issue that stands above politics.

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It’s now up to the U.S. House of Representatives to grasp the opportunity and pass the ACE Act. Now is the time to show the country that Congress can work together to accomplish great things for conservation, hunting and fishing.

The ACE Act will help retain the nation’s shared legacy of conservation that will be passed down from the current generation of outdoorsmen and women to the next.

Glenn Hughes is President of the American Sportfishing Association representing a united industry dedicated to increasing participation in recreational fishing, enhancing their business and safeguarding our fisheries and waters. Whit Fosburgh is the President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a coalition of 60 conservation groups working together to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.