16 U.S.C. § 3839bb-5 - Voluntary public access and habitat incentive program

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 3839bb-5
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)

(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a voluntary public access program under which States and tribal governments may apply for funding to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm, ranch, and forest land to voluntarily make that land available for access by the public for wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting or fishing under programs administered by the States and tribal governments.

(b) Applications

In submitting applications for funding under the program, a State or tribal government shall describe-

(1) the benefits that the State or tribal government intends to achieve by encouraging public access to private farm and ranch land for-

(A) hunting and fishing; and

(B) to the maximum extent practicable, other recreational purposes; and

(2) the methods that will be used to achieve those benefits.

(c) Priority

In approving applications and awarding funding under the program, the Secretary shall give priority to States and tribal governments that propose-

(1) to maximize participation by offering a program the terms of which are likely to meet with widespread acceptance among landowners;

(2) to ensure that land enrolled under the State or tribal government program has appropriate wildlife habitat;

(3) to strengthen wildlife habitat improvement efforts on land enrolled in a conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title or on land covered by a wetland reserve easement under section 3865c of this title by providing incentives to increase public hunting and other recreational access on that land;

(4) to use additional Federal, State, tribal government, or private resources in carrying out the program; and

(5) to make available to the public the location of land enrolled.

(d) Relationship to other laws

(1) No preemption

Nothing in this section preempts a State or tribal government law, including any State or tribal government liability law.

(2) Effect of inconsistent opening dates for migratory bird hunting

The Secretary shall reduce by 25 percent the amount of funding otherwise determined for a State under the program if the opening dates for migratory bird hunting in the State are not consistent for residents and non-residents.

(e) Regulations

The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.

(f) Funding

(1) Mandatory funding

Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section, to the maximum extent practicable, $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2012, $40,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, and $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

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