April 30, 2010
California Expansion Of Bear Hunting Is Rejected
The state Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously Wednesday not to expand bear hunting grounds in California or eliminate the cap on the number of bears that can be killed each season. The commission decided not to make changes to existing regulations after the Department of Fish and Game, which initially urged the changes, reversed its position Tuesday afternoon because it had been deluged with public comments. Officials said they had not had time to respond to them all. By law, all comments must be answered before changes are made (LA Times Online). http://bit.ly/9q2Rjg
ŕThis story should highlight the consequences of inaction. The efforts of anti-hunting organizations are real as they continue to thwart state fish and game agencies that attempt to open sustainable hunting seasons. Throughout the year, SCI targets members in various states and congressional districts, calling on them, as hunters, to act on behalf of the sportsmen’s community. Please be a part of advocating for the hunting heritage.
UPDATE: European Union Commission Restricts Carriage Of Ammunition
Last week we reported on a new European Union Commission regulation that could make it very difficult for hunters to travel with ammunition in checked luggage in Europe. That regulation goes into effect today, April 29. SCI has just received new information from our European partners that it is likely that most EU member states will be able obtain an exemption from this regulation. An exemption would allow passengers to continue to carry ammunition in checked baggage. So far, SCI has been notified that Germany will continue to allow ammunition in checked baggage and has not changed its policies in response to the EU Commission regulation. Once SCI can confirm exactly which other countries have received an exemption, we will inform you. Whatever happens, SCI still suggests speaking with your airline or travel agent if you are travelling with ammunition through Europe.
Wisconsin Petitions To Delist Gray Wolves
On April 27, the State of Wisconsin submitted a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf (eastern timber wolf or Minnesota gray wolf) in the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s petition noted that the State was joining the March 15, 2010 wolf delisting petition filed by the State of Minnesota. Wisconsin’s petition starts the clock ticking on the FWS to acknowledge receipt of the petition within 30 days and to publish a determination as to whether the delisting may be warranted within 90 days. If the FWS concludes the petition may be warranted, it must then “promptly commence a review of the status” of the species, to be completed within one year of receiving the petition. Wisconsin’s petition speculates that the state’s wolf population may exceed 700 animals in 2010.
Wisconsin has also filed an application for a permit to remove problem wolves, while the state’s wolves retain their endangered status. Michigan has filed a similar application. The FWS is soliciting comments on the two states’ applications. Comments must be submitted by May 20, 2010. Written comments may be submitted by U.S. Mail to the Regional Director, Attn: Peter Fasbender, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, MN 55111–4056, or by electronic mail to permitsR3ES@fws.gov. SCI will be submitting comments on the two permit applications.
Nine Great Questions With Safari Club International CITES Delegate
SCI Foundation Conservation Committee Chairman Joe Hosmer sat down with the editor of www.HuntingLife.com recently to provide some highlights on how CITES played out. Please click HERE or go to http://bit.ly/anxLOp to check out the interview.
Judge Sets Hearing On Wolf Delisting In Northern Rocky Mountain Case
A federal court judge in Missoula, Montana has scheduled oral arguments on June 15, 2010 to hear arguments on whether gray wolves in Montana and Idaho should remain off the endangered species list. As a result of the delisting, Idaho and Montana held their first successful wolf harvests in 2009-2010. SCI, together with the NRA, are participating as Defendant-Intervenors in the case and SCI’s lawyers will be present at the hearing to defend the delisting.
Modern Sporting Rifle Owners Are Most Active Shooters
The first comprehensive survey to look at ownership and use of modern sporting rifles reveals that 8.9 million Americans went target shooting with AR-style rifles in 2009 and that participants using this type of rifle were the most active among all types of sport shooters. "These findings underscore that modern sporting rifles are becoming commonplace in America and are among the most desired firearms by sport shooters," said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, trade association of the firearms industry. "Those who want to ban these civilian sporting rifles simply because they look like military rifles must acknowledge after seeing this study that AR-style rifles are exceedingly popular with millions of Americans. These rifles are our industry's high-tech, cutting-edge product -- rugged, accurate, versatile, fun to shoot and easily accessorized -- and they're here to stay." (NSSF Press Release) Full release available at http://bit.ly/akCrsp
Severe Pneumonia Outbreak Kills Bighorn Sheep
Wildlife officials say an outbreak of bacterial pneumonia killing bighorn sheep herds in five Western states is without precedent. Every year, a small number of bighorn sheep succumb to pneumonia, but this winter Montana, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada all have reported unusually high incidences of sickness and death among their wild sheep populations. The outbreak's toll is difficult to determine, since bighorn sheep roam remote locations, but officials estimate 1,000 sheep in nine wild herds had died as of early April. Some 300 of those deaths represented sick animals that were culled—a measure adopted by three states to prevent the disease from infecting other herds. (AVMA Online) Read the full story at http://bit.ly/bV7q9E.
Senate Hearing Establishing New Guidelines For Filming Hunting Programs On Federal Lands
The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on April 28, concerning S. 1241, sponsored by CSC Member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and co-sponsored by CSC Co-Chair Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and CSC Vice-Chair Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT). This legislation would establish new guidelines for filming hunting and fishing programs on federal lands. CSF, along with 32 other organizations, sent a letter last week expressing support for this legislation that will direct the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees for commercial filming activities on Federal lands and waterways for film crews of five persons or fewer. (Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Newsletter) Letter available here: http://bit.ly/cX2plT
New Jersey Holds Public Hearing On Proposed Black Bear Policy
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has published a proposed Comprehensive Black Bear Policy that includes a black bear season for the fall of 2010. Written comments on the proposed policy may be submitted through June 18, 2010. The policy and comment information are accessible from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife site at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearpolicy10.htm. A public hearing on the policy is scheduled for May, 11, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State St., Trenton, NJ 08625. SCI will attend the hearing to present oral testimony in support of the policy and will also be submitting a set of written comments.
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