News of the day
Virginia's Attorney General will join the Attorneys General amicus supporting the individual rights position.
The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus is celebrating some pro-hunting wins in the budget bill (details in extended remarks below).
UPDATE: The Supreme Court often asks the opinion of the Solicitor General, on a constutional question of some weight, if the Federal government is not a party. In that event, he's expected to file a brief, and sometimes to participate in oral argument (with sometimes a squabble about whether his time should or should not be deducted from the side he tends to favor -- when you only have 30 minutes per side, having 10 or so minutes removed can become a major issue!).
Pro-Hunting Congressmen Review ‘Omnibus’ Budget Legislation…
Victory on Polar Bear Management
Due Diligence Needed on USAID African Wildlife Conservation Programs
Washington, DC – Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) are enthusiastic about a victory for hunting and conservation as the $555 billion ‘omnibus’ spending bill goes to the President for his signature.
Anti-hunting language was removed from one and modified in another of two measures before the bill was passed by the House and Senate. The two issues concerned wildlife science and management of polar bears in Canada and hunter-supported conservation programs in Africa.
Language that would have limited the importation of polar bear parts was removed from the omnibus appropriations bill. The language would have gutted funds, generated by hunting, for science-based polar bear research and management.
The language was opposed by the hunting community and conservation agencies along with the leadership and members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. A letter signed by those groups was sent to all House and Senate Members and emphasized that an import ban would harm polar bear conservation and management in Canada. A ban would do nothing to reduce the number of polar bears harvested in Canada and would severely harm the economic well-being of the native communities that must live with the polar bear on a day-to-day basis.
Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation said,
“Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus created a ‘win’ for both hunters and polar bears. Science-based management must prevail for any game or non-game species and should not be dictated by anti-hunting politics.”
AID FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN AFRICA
For Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus members, their celebration was tempered by give-and-take language in the spending bill concerning wildlife conservation programs for Africa, that incorporate regulated, licensed hunting programs.
The original language stated…
“The Committee is concerned about reports that USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) directly and indirectly supports recreational, sport and trophy hunting in its assistance programs in Africa. The committee directs USAID to provide no funds to programs that support or promote recreation, sport, or trophy hunting as a conservation tool.”
Members of the CSC and a wide ranging number of hunting and conservation partners brought the issue to the forefront and the language was modified in the omnibus spending package that is being sent to the President. Although the language was modified, it needs to be cautiously monitored as to how it will be employed. The language in the omnibus bill reads…
“USAID shall consult with the Appropriations Committees on its conservation programs in Africa involving hunting.”
CSF President Jeff Crane spent years in Africa as a licensed Professional Hunter and knows the value of game management programs there that are supported by hunting. On the USAID language, he commented,
“Hunters are the best conservationists. Programs in Zimbabwe, Namibia and elsewhwere have enormously benefited wildlife populations and supplemented local economies. We will maintain our diligence on USAID when it comes to hunting-supported management programs.”
About the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
CSF is the most respected and trusted hunting and fishing organization in the political arena. With support from every major hunting and fishing organization, CSF is the leader in promoting sportsmen's issues with elected officials. CSF works directly with the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in the U.S. Congress, as well as affiliated state sportsmen's caucuses in state legislatures around the country. www.sportsmenslink.org.