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Nov 26, 2012 8:26 PM by Matt Stafford

GOP blocks bill to give hunters more land access

WASHINGTON (AP) - A wide-ranging bill to give hunters and fishermen more access to public lands has stalled in the Senate after Republicans said it spends too much money.

Republicans supported opening lands for outdoorsmen and many other provisions in the bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, but GOP senators blocked the legislation Monday evening on a mostly party-line vote after Senate Budget Chairman Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., objected to spending on conservation programs included in the bill.

The sportsmen's bill would increase land access and allow hunters to bring home as trophies 41 polar bears killed in Canada before the government started protecting polar bears as a threatened species. The legislation would also exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead, boost fish populations and protect animal habitat.

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