May 16, 2008
Polar Bear Listing Will Spawn Misinformation
One fallout of the recent polar bear listing will be misinformation. The listing will not affect the number of polar bears harvested each year, but will ban the import of polar bear trophies from Canada into the U.S.
This ban is due to the recent listing of the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the listing was primarily due to projected loss of arctic sea ice caused by global climate change. The FWS has never identified sustainable sport or subsistence hunting of polar bears as a problem for the survival of the species. But this fact did not stop the Humane Society of the United States from claiming that the FWS recognized ďthe need to stop the import of hundreds of sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada.Ē Be wary of statements in the media about the reasons for and impacts of this listing. SCI will continue to keep you apprised of the polar bear situation.
SCIís 2008 Washington Lobby Day
Once again in 2008, SCI members convened in Washington, D.C. to take to Capitol Hill the vital issues affecting hunters. With over 160 visits with Congressmen and women and Senators, the SCI message and the voice of Americaís sportsmen was heard. SCI worked very hard to have the most up-to-date information for members to take to their meetings concerning the 2008 Farm Bill, which was being debated in conference at that time. The passion of SCIís members and the fortuitous timing to bring such a vital issue to the desk of 160 members of Congress played a powerful role in the debate on the Farm Bill. All those who participated and carried the torch for sportsmen and women on Capitol Hill should be commended.
Congressman Adam Putnam (FL) was the keynote speaker for SCIís breakfast briefing, where he fired up the troops about the vital importance of the voice of hunters. SCI presented Congressman Putnam SCIís 2008 Legislator of the Year Award. Also speaking at the breakfast were Rep. Bob Latta (OH) and Rep. Brad Miller (CA). Nearly 20 Congressmen joined SCI for lunch, including Dan Boren (OK), the current Congressional Sportsmenís Caucus Co-Chair; Don Young (AK) who has championed hunterís rights for his entire career; and former GOP Presidential candidate Ken Calvert (CA). Other Congressmen included Robin Hayes (NC), Dean Heller (NV), and Paul Broun (GA).
Farm Bill Finally Passes House and Senate
Late last week while SCI was having their Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., the joint conference committee from the House and Senate agreed on the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report. The Conference Report was then taken to the floors of the U.S. House and Senate for debate and votes. The final votes were taken this week and both the Senate (81-15) and House (318-106) passed the Farm Bill. The bill now will go to the President. One of the biggest issues with this version of the Farm Bill has been the budget constraints that have been outlined by the Administration.
As all hunters know, the Farm Bill contains considerable amounts of funding that go to help wildlife conservation, both game and non-game. Programs like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) have been instrumental in increasing population numbers of pheasants, ducks, deer and all other wildlife throughout America. Passage of the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report is vital for wildlife and for hunters.
SCIís 2008 Litigation Newsletter Now Available Online
The latest issue of SCI's Litigation Newsletter was released on May 10th to the attendees of SCI's May Board meeting in Washington, D.C. This edition is chock full of news about SCI's newest litigation pursuits, including our involvement in the Northern Rocky Mountain grizzly and wolf delisting cases, the Rocky Mountain National Park elk management case and others. Read it for yourself and find out what battles SCI is fighting in courts all over the country. http://www.scifirstforhunters.org/docs/content/531/May%20Litigation%20Newsletter.pdf