March 6, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

March 6, 2007

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Safari Club International Testifies In Opposition of Listing of Polar Bear Under the Endangered Species Act

Safari Club International continued its fight to stop the proposed listing of the polar bear as a “threatened” species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act by testifying at a hearing held by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on March 5, 2007 in Washington D.C. The FWS is concerned that, within the next 45 years, the alleged impacts of global climate change will put the species as a whole in danger of extinction. Such a listing could mean the end of the importation into the United States of trophies of polar bears legally hunted in Canada, unless the FWS adopted special rules and permits allowing the import.

SCI argued that the FWS cannot make a “threatened” finding because there is too much scientific uncertainty about the nature and extent of global climate change, the future impact of any climate change on the arctic ecosystem, and how the polar bear as a species will adapt to any changing conditions. SCI explained that before making a ‘threatened’ listing, the FWS must have some high level of certainty about these future events. This certainty is lacking.

SCI also commented that sport hunting of polar bears in Canada brings significant dollars to local native communities and to conservation and management efforts. Currently polar bear populations overall are healthy and in many places thriving. Sport hunting of polar bears only occurs under strict quotas issued by Canadian provincial governments. The FWS currently allows imports only of bears taken from sustainably managed populations. At the hearing, Doug Burdin, Litigation Counsel for SCI, testified, “Sport hunting, especially by U.S. hunters, brings significant dollars to remote native communities in Canada. To go along with the intrinsic value these people place on the polar bear, this economic benefit makes the polar bear valuable to these people, encouraging them to better conserve and manage the bear.” SCI will, as always, keep you posted.

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SCI To Appear on NRA News’ Cam and Company Show to Discuss Polar Bears

To learn more about the proposed listing of polar bears and SCI’s position on the issue, listen to Doug Burdin, Litigation Counsel for SCI, tonight, March 6, at 10:40 p.m. (eastern time) on the “Cam and Company” radio show broadcast on NRA News. The webcast of the show is available at or on Sirius Radio channel 144.

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Kenyan Parliament Still Aiming to Vote on Hunting

“The decision on whether or not the Government should lift a 30 year old ban on sport‑hunting rests with Kenyans", a minister has said. Tourism and Wildlife minister Morris Dzoro...told groups opposed to sport hunting to hold their horses until a task force collects and collates views of all key players. The task force would conclude its work and table a report before him by April 15, he said. The minister accused some environmentalists of calling press conferences instead of giving their views to the national steering committee on the review of wildlife policy. "The mandate of the committee is to get all the views of the public, whether good or bad, which we would process into a sessional paper to be presented to the Cabinet, and if approved, taken to Parliament as a Bill," the minister said.  At the same time the minister said the Government would uphold the International Convention on Trade on Endangered Species, saying there was no cause for fear that Kenyan wildlife would be threatened. Mr. Dzoro was reacting to claims by officials of the Centre of Minority Rights in Democracy, who had vowed to lobby members of Parliament to shoot down the proposed Bill, if it supports what they called “hunting for fun.”  The full story can be found at (Source: The Nation - Kenya)

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California Fish and Game Commission Puts Off Decision on Lead Ammunition Ban

SCI continues to closely monitor the California Fish and Game Commission's consideration whether to ban lead ammunition in Condor range in California. At a hearing held on Friday, March 2, 2007, the Commission pulled the proposed lead ammunition ban out of its current consideration of mammal hunting regulations. The reason appeared to be a request to the Department of Fish and Game for more information about the scientific information. SCI understands that the Commission will not vote on the lead ban at its April meeting, as originally suggested by the Commission. The Department has promised the information will be ready by the Commission's May meeting. Despite the delay, interested members of the public can still submit written comments (by April 6) on the proposed lead ban or testify at the meeting on April 12-13. The public can also comment on the draft environmental documents on the issue prepared by the California Fish and Game Department by April 9, 2007. For more information, see  and