Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, January 29, 2011: Very little of note out there. But since I have your eye (or ears) I want to offer a quick political science lesson. This has to do with fishing in a huge way. Please take a second to look at this. We’re learning the hard way that all things angling now go through D.C.
Our jumbo-sized congressman, Jon Runyon, R., has just been assigned to a very prestigious committee: the House Committee on Natural Resources, a.k.a. Natural Resources Committees – and even the shorter “Resources.” Runyon is now on “Resources.”
I’ll instantly bring this into our angling home by noting that this “full” committee is now the only source for handling the initial phases in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This means that, for 2011, the delicate and weighty responsibility of working toward the reauthorizing this famed Act has essentially been pulled from the Resources’ famed Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs (now to be known as Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife). If that exact subcommittee name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because it has also changed a bit for 2011.
While the Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife subcommittee will still handle hugely important issues that cover fishing, hunting, outdoorsing, etc., it is now emphatically stated in the Rules for the Committee on Natural Resources that it WILL NOT be working the Magnuson Act. Here’s the exact language: “The following measures and matters shall be retained at the Full Committee: Environmental and habitat measures of general applicability, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.” Note: The “full” committee is the Natural Resources Committee.
The change is also stated in the listed responsibilities of the Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. The subcommittee will handle, “Fisheries management and fisheries research generally, including the management of all commercial and recreational fisheries (except for the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act), interjurisdictional fisheries, international fisheries agreements, aquaculture, seafood safety and fisheries promotion.”
This all means that Runyon will be in the impact zone of those attacking the Magnuson Act as it’s now written. However, he can also legally sit in on any subcommittee, i.e. Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. Per the rules: “Any Member of the Committee (Natural Resources) may sit with any Subcommittee during any meeting or hearing, and by unanimous consent of the Members of the Subcommittee may participate in such meeting or hearing.
While Runyon won’t be able to vote within a subcommittee, he sure as hell can speak of those fishing and outdoors things impacting his district’s constituency, i.e. us. Even if you don’t live in the 3RD Congressional District, you can see the importance of Runyon’s position. Hopefully, he can bring home the bacon/pork for our fishing zone – as Jim Saxton did during his long stint as 3rd District Representative.