The Center for Coastal Conservation said it named U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) Conservationist of the Year for championing policies promoting healthy fish and wildlife populations and access to the country’s public lands and waters.
Center for Coastal Conservation president Jeff Angers presented Bishop with the award at the joint gathering of the American Boating Congress and Center Focus on Washington last month in Washington, D.C.
Bishop has been chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources since 2015 and the center said he has been a steadfast ally of America’s sportsmen.
The center said Bishop was instrumental in the House passage of the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. Due in large part to Bishop’s leadership, the bill includes several amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to better manage recreational fisheries.
The bill awaits action in the Senate. The center said Bishop also helped usher through the House the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, which will enhance fishing opportunities on federal lands and waters and protect anglers from unnecessary restrictions.
“Chairman Bishop has taken the time to recognize the significant social, economic and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation, a quality that has made him an invaluable partner on Capitol Hill,” Angers said.
“Congressman Bishop fully appreciates that saltwater recreational fishing generates over $61 billion in annual sales and has a major economic impact that expands beyond our nation’s coastal communities. Almost 500,000 jobs across America — particularly in the manufacturing and retail sectors — are tied to our industry. These jobs are in jeopardy unless we fix our nation’s broken federal marine fisheries management system.”