January 12, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

January 12, 2007

SCI Lion
Canada Political Party Calls for Ban on Some Guns

At a recent leadership conference, the Liberal Party of Canada, which now forms the Official Opposition in the House of Commons approved Resolution 42 which resolved that "because automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal for hunting" and "do not support the hunting culture...of Canada", the party would "support legislation to eliminate" their use. Both Delta Waterfowl and the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers (OFAH) have issued strong statements against such a proposed policy with one of the groups saying that "the real issues of firearm abuse have nothing to do with law-abiding hunters using limited-capability, semi-automatic firearms for hunting, and there is no need to ban such guns".(Source: Delta Waterfowl/OFAH)

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Arctic off the Table for Good?

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced H.R. 39, the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, to permanently create a wilderness designation in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). ANWR has been the center of controversy for years as energy companies have tried unsuccessfully to open it up to oil and gas drilling. This new law would prevent that from happening. "There are some places in our world that are so rare and so special that we have a responsibility to protect them" said Rep. Markey. SCI will keep you posted.

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SCI's Comments on Bald Eagle Delisting Protects Hunters

SCI has submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the long-pending bald eagle delisting and the regulatory scheme that will govern after delisting. If, as expected, the FWS delists bald eagles, a law enacted in the 1940s, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, will continue to regulate the "take" (killing or injuring) of bald eagles. Under this Act, take includes the undefined term "disturb." SCI is submitting comments (1) supporting the FWS's proposed definition of this term, (2) reinforcing that the proposed definition should not encompass normal recreational activities such as hunting, and (3) generally supporting the delisting of the bald eagle. Among other things, delisting would eliminate claims made by an anti-trapping and anti-hunting group in the Minnesota and Maine trapping cases in which SCI is involved.

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Comments Sought On Colorado Big Game Access Pilot Program

The Colorado Wildlife Commission is looking for public comments on a newly proposed big game hunter access pilot program in southeast Colorado. The pilot program, which the CWC is calling BGAP (Big Game Access Program), would run for a 3-year evaluation period and would operate in a manner similar to the state’s upland game Walk-In Access program for pheasants and quail. As proposed, the BGAP would lease private land in several southeastern Colorado game management units that would be open to pronghorn and deer hunters who purchase a special access stamp. The proposed cost of the stamp would be $40. The BGAP would concentrate on high-quality upland grass or prairie habitat with a focus on pronghorns, and river-bottom or riparian land with a focus on deer. The amount of money paid to landowners would depend on the size of the property, habitat quality and the number of resident pronghorns or deer. For more information on the BGAP, click here. Comments on the proposed program can be e-mailed to wildlife.comm@state.co.us. (Source: NAHC)

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One Minnesota Trapping Lawsuit Headed for Dismissal

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Humane Society of the United States have entered into a settlement of HSUS's lawsuit against the DNR alleging that its trapping program "takes" (kills or injures) the Canada lynx, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. SCI and the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance are "amici curiae" (friend of the court) in the case. In a document filed with the District Court in Minnesota today, the parties explain that the DNR will apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a "incidental take permit," which would authorize the "take" of Canada lynx by trapping activities. The DNR also agrees to pay HSUS the amount of $25,000 for attorney fees, one half of which HSUS agrees to donate back to the State for lynx conservation. It is likely the Court will approve this settlement and dismiss the case. The settlement and dismissal will not affect another similar lawsuit against the DNR filed by the Animal Protection Institute and involving lynx, bald eagle, and wolves (SCI and MOHA are amici curiae in this case as well).