BFA on hand as Gov. Ted Strickland signs bill expanding opportunities for mobility-impaired hunters
Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer Bob Harsanje recently attended the signing ceremony for Senate Bill 209, legislation which will, among other things, create mobility-impaired access lanes on various public hunting lands of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The bill also will allow mobility impaired, licensed individuals to hunt from such lanes with a special permit via electric-powered all-purpose vehicles or in a stationary road vehicle.
"This legislation represents a continuation of our efforts to enhance opportunities for persons with disabilities to hunt and fish," said Jim Marshall, assistant chief of the Division of Wildlife.
In late February, after accepting testimony from Buckeye Firearms Association's Bob Harsanje and Larry S. Moore, the House Finance & Appropriations Committee voted to amend HB473 into Senate Bill 209, an omnibus fiscal bill that already includes some other natural resources provisions. The amendment, proposed by State Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D), was supported by SB209's primary sponsor, Sen. John Carey (R) and by Dave Graham, Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Passage of this bill, which received unanimous support in both chambers of the Ohio legislature, was a long-time in coming.
Several years ago a group of disabled hunters approached the Division of Wildlife to develop a plan to improve access to public hunting areas. It has taken a lot of work, planning and communication efforts.
Last year Larry Moore wrote a resolution which was submitted to and adopted by the League of Ohio Sportsmen calling on the Division of Wildlife to work to open more land to mobility-impaired hunter access. He did so in conjunction with Bob Harsanje, who is a mobility-impaired hunter. Harsanje, who had been leading the effort to improve access, received the honor of being recognized in Senate floor testimony by Rep. Uvagi, and now too the honor of being on hand as Gov. Ted Strickland signed the bill into law.
To view the resolution to the League of Ohio Sportsmen and the testimony submitted on behalf of Buckeye Firearms Association, click here.
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