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Statement for the Record
Department of the Interior
House Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs
H.R. 3065, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

May 17, 2012

The Department of the Interior appreciates the opportunity to present its views on H.R. 3065, a bill that would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to facilitate the establishment of additional or expanded public target ranges in certain States.  The Department of the Interior supports this legislation.  On April 24, 2012, the Department testified in support of the Senate companion bill to H.R 3065, S. 1249.

Shooting, whether with gun or bow, is an American tradition.  Creating opportunities for young Americans to experience this tradition, and pursue the goal of “marksmanship”, also provides opportunity for them to learn about responsibility, about dedication, about accomplishment. The Department supports this legislation, because it will help create such opportunities, and we would like to work with the Committee to consider some technical corrections.

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669-669i) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate with the States, through their respective State fish and game departments, in wildlife-restoration projects. The Act also provides for grants for a variety of uses including reintroduction of declining wildlife species, wildlife population surveys, species research, hunter education, acquisition of wildlife habitat, and public target ranges. Currently, Pittman-Robertson funds can only be used to pay 75 percent of the cost of building or operating a public target range. H.R. 3065, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Support Act, would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to change the funding requirements to allow up to 90 percent of target range construction and maintenance to be paid for with Pittman-Robertson funds, thus reducing the match burden on state and local governments.

In addition, H.R. 3065 would amend an existing requirement that Pittman-Robertson funding used for acquiring or constructing public target ranges be obligated within two years by allowing the funds to accrue over five years.  This extension would allow individual projects to be funded over multiple budget cycles and significantly enhance the ability of states to acquire and build target shooting ranges. 

Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department’s views supporting H.R. 3065.