Sportsmen and women throw support behind renewable energy legislation

For Immediate Release 

July 25, 2019 


Shauna Stephenson, Trout Unlimited, (307) 757-7861 

Katie McKalip, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, (406) 240-9262 

Kristyn Brady, TRCP, (617) 501-6352 

Hearing will consider measure that sportsmen’s coalition says will help protect wildlife, public lands with thoughtful planning and revenue for conservation 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sporting groups rallied around a bill that would balance development of renewable energy with fish and wildlife protections on public lands.  

The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, introduced earlier this month, came up for a hearing Thursday in the House subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

The groups representing hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers, outdoor professionals and outdoor enthusiasts say that Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Mike Levin’s (D-CA) Public Lands Renewable Energy Act would:

  • Establish a forward-looking and efficient management system for wind and solar projects on public lands   
  • Direct at least 25 percent of royalties to a conservation fund  
  • Direct another 50 percent to state and local governments where projects are located 
  • Encourage smart planning and balance between development and protection of fish and wildlife resources 

Royalties directed into the newly established conservation fund could be used to restore fish and wildlife habitat affected by development and maintain access to hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands. 

The bipartisan measure is aimed at building the framework for more efficient, responsible development of renewable energy on public lands.  

Representatives from three major sportsmen’s groups showed their support of this effort, noting that sportsmen are supportive of the development of renewable energy resources on public lands when it is done in the right places and in a manner that conserves fish and wildlife habitat as outlined in this bill: 

Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited: 

Renewable energy on public lands offers great potential to society but it must be done right. This bill does it right. It compensates local communities for the impacts of development and requires smart planning from the start. It creates a restoration and mitigation fund that ensures we take care of the fish, water, and wildlife resources upon which our nation depends. Trout Unlimited is grateful to the co-sponsors for their support of this important legislation. 

Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: 

“This bill would achieve a rare win-win scenario by thoughtfully balancing renewable energy development and habitat needs, while creating a consistent stream of revenue to fund essential fish and wildlife management projects. We’re heartened to see momentum behind this legislation, which will create opportunities to enhance sportsmen’s access, clean water resources, and critical habitat for important game species. This bipartisan bill and common-sense approach to conservation funding have TRCP’s full support.” 

John Gale, conservation director for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:  

“Hunters and anglers support multiple uses, including energy development, on public lands with the understanding that fish and wildlife and the interests of sportsmen and women are acknowledged as a top priority. PLREDA does this by facilitating clean energy infrastructure, elevating considerations for fish and wildlife habitat and supporting local economies. We thank Reps. Gosar and Levin for their bipartisan leadership on this issue.” 

Public lands contain some of the most valuable trout and salmon habitat in the nation. These lands also provide a great opportunity for well-planned and properly mitigated renewable energy development projects that could contribute to job creation, reduce carbon pollution, and contribute to the protection and restoration of natural resources for the benefit of this and future generations. 

By planning ahead and identifying priority areas for wind, solar and geothermal development, PLREDA encourages smart siting and efficient permitting of projects in places with high potential for energy and low impact on wildlife and habitat.  

For more information go to Trout Unlimited’s blog 


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and TwitterInstagram and our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation. 

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more about BHA on our website. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing. By ensuring access to quality fish and wildlife habitat, we’re also safeguarding the $887 billion that sportsmen and women help contribute to the American economy. Follow @theTRCP on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram