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Critical Senate vote on Sportsmen’s Act set for tonight

There’s no more time to put off your active support of The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. The bill (S. 3525) is scheduled to come up for a vote tonight after 5:30 p.m. in the U.S. Senate.

Please pick up the phone now, especially if you are a dealer selling fishing boats. Don’t sell fishing boats? It still equally important to you because studies show 70-plus percent of all boat owners report they use their boats for fishing at least some of the time.

If you’ve never actually called your two U.S. Senators, here’s how easy it is:

• First, Go to www.keepamericafishing.org/sportsmensact.

• Scroll down to bottom of page and put in your zip code – your Senators’ pictures and phone numbers will come up.

• Call, and when the office answers, tell them your name (they’ll likely ask for your zip code) and simply say: “I’m calling to ask Senator (name) to vote yes for bill S. 3525, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. I understand it’s coming up for a vote tonight.”

• Do exactly the same for your other Senator. That’s it. It’s easy to register your opinion with your two senators. And every day their office logs in every “for or against” call and reports the totals to the senator. In other words, numbers really matter. Your call will count.

The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is the biggest bill of its kind to ever address sporting issues at one time. That’s because it combines several previously separate bills, including the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act; the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act; the Making Public Land Public Act, among others. Unquestionably, this bill will have a tremendous impact on anglers as well as hunters. It will help maintain our conservation heritage now and for generations to come.

Keep America Fishing’s Gordon Robertson reports that getting S. 3525 through the Senate now will allow time in this lame-duck session of Congress to move it through the House.

“If we can clear the Senate,” Robertson says, “and get the House to agree with the Senate bill without changes, we can get this done now. However, grassroots support is key. We need senators to know anglers back home are calling to asking them to vote yes. Calls are critical.

Finally, since it is so easy and actually takes only a couple of minutes, how about every dealer asking every employee to take a quick “fishing break” today and call in and be counted?

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