U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) applauded the Senate’s bipartisan passage of his legislation, the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act (S. 834), a bill that reauthorizes through fiscal year 2023 the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, a program that has benefitted millions of anglers and fishermen since 1950.
“South Dakota is rich in natural resources that provide an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and those who visit our state each year,” said Thune. “It’s important that these natural treasures are available for future generations, which is why I was glad the Senate reauthorized this critical program. The anglers and recreational boaters, the very people who contribute to this program, understand the importance of protecting our wetlands, fisheries, and recreational boating safety programs.”
On March 25, 2015, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Thune serves as chairman, passed S. 834. This important legislation was then included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act conference report, which passed the Senate last night by a vote of 83-16, and will soon be signed into law by President Obama.
The program collects user fees on fishing tackle and equipment, motorboat fuel, imported boats and fishing equipment, and small engines, raising roughly $600 million per year. The money in the fund is then allocated to federal and state programs for boating safety and infrastructure, fishery management, habitat conservation, and related programs and activities. South Dakota has received $9.1 million from the fund over the last two years.