If you ask communications staff for Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Michigan) about H.R. 2834, the representative’s proposed bill on hunting and fishing access, they’ll quickly clarify that, despite claims, the bill does not apply to wilderness areas. Benishek probably doesn’t mean any harm. He’s got the sweet-eyed earnestness of someone who just wants a few rounds alone in the woods with some buckshot.
“It’s hard for me to think of something I enjoy more than heading out from my camp in the Ottawa National Forest during late September and doing some bird hunting. Our goal with this legislation is to make that possible for future generations of sportsmen,” Benishek said in a press release about authoring the bill.
Benishek introduced the bill on Sept. 2, 2011. It’s passed through multiple committees and is, essentially, on hold — the committees have released it for action on the floor with the understanding they can revisit the legislation should it, or a reintroduced incarnation of it, move forward in the House and be referred on to a more favorable Senate or a president even less invested in conservation than President Barack Obama.