An unusual alliance is taking shape in Wyoming and other Western states. Politically conservative members of pro-hunting and fishing groups, like Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, are partnering with the National Wildlife Federation and others to try to fend off what they see as anti-sporting legislation.
Bob Meulengracht with Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development says one example is HR 1581. He calls it especially troubling because it could open up prized hunting habitats to oil and gas development. He calls it the the "Assault on Our Sporting Heritage Act."
Matthew Copeland with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation claims supporters of HR 1581 aren't being completely upfront about its impact.
Not all sportsmen's groups oppose HR 1581, which would release the land to local management. Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association both back the bill saying it would allow better access for people with disabilities and older hunters. Opponents counter that there are low-impact hunting roads in much of the land already, and that the bill would open up the lands to high-impact development.