April 12, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

April 12, 2007

SCI Lion
SCI Opposes Polar Bear Listing

SCI filed substantive comments with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing the proposed listing of the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. SCI opposes listing the polar bear because it would likely cut off unnecessarily the ability of U.S. hunters to import into the United States polar bear trophies from healthy populations in Canada. In the comments, SCI explained that listing the polar bear under the ESA would harm current conservation and management efforts, funded in part by U.S. hunters. A listing would remove the main incentive for U.S. sportsmen and women to hunt the species in Canada. SCI also demonstrated that a great amount of scientific uncertainty surrounds predicting the nature and extent of any future global climate change and its impact on the arctic ecosystem and polar bear. These scientific uncertainties prevent the FWS from determining with the high degree of certainty the ESA requires that a future danger of extinction will occur. The FWS is expected to make a decision whether to list the polar bear by early 2008. SCI will continue to monitor the situation. To see the documents SCI filed, visit www.safariclub.org under Government / Litigation.

SCI Lion
SCI on the Radio – Polar Bears

SCI Litigation Counsel Doug Burdin was interviewed by the Circumpolar Affairs Reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about SCI's comments opposing the polar bear listing under the ESA. The report is supposed to air on the morning show "Qulliq" on Friday, April 13 at about 7:40 a.m. eastern time and sometime during the 1/2 hour newscasts that begin running at 6:30 p.m. The website for the station is www.cbc.ca/north and the webcast should be available at http://www.cbc.ca/listen/streams/r1_iqaluit_32.html.

SCI Lion
SCI Files Comments on Environmental Documents on Lead Ban in Condor Range Proposal

SCI filed comments with the California Department of Fish and Game on its Draft Environmental Document analyzing the proposed ban on lead ammunition in the condor "range." SCI supports the Departments decision to do additional research and analysis before finalizing the document or recommending a course of action to the California Fish and Game Commission. The Commission is the governmental entity that decides hunting issues, including whether to ban lead ammunition in condor range. In addition to supporting the need for more analysis, SCI pointed out specific issues the Department should study further, including the possibility of reducing the size of the area affected by the proposed ban. After the Department finalizes the environmental document, SCI will have another opportunity to comment on the final document. The Commission will then take up the lead ammunition ban proposal at a later time. The Commission will continue to take comments on this issue at its meeting on April 13, 2007 in Bodega Bay (see http://www.fgc.ca.gov/2007/041207agd.html for more information, including how to listen to the hearing). SCI will continue to monitor this situation and keep you posted. To see the document SCI filed, visit www.safariclub.org under Government / Litigation or click here.

SCI Lion
Tories Quietly Extend Long-Gun Registry Deadline

“The Conservatives are giving hundreds of thousands of long gun owners in Canada a reprieve -- exempting them from having to obtain licenses for another year. The Harper government, which has long been trying to abolish the federal gun registry, says long gun owners now have until May 2008 to register their weapons. The move is being applauded by firearms advocates who have opposed the registry for years. The Tories introduced the regulation change quietly over the Easter weekend. Instead of issuing a press release or official statement, the government published its Amending Order in the April 7 issue of the Canada Gazette -- the government's "official newspaper." The Firearms Act brought in by the Liberals more than a decade ago is still the law of the land. The Tory move essentially buys the government some time, allowing it to ignore the long gun registry for another year, and possibly through another election.” (Source: CTV.ca)

SCI Lion
Comment on a Refuge Near You!

SCI is in the process of filing comments on a series of planning documents prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designed to address the cumulative impact of hunting on over 70 refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System. Although the comment periods for many of the refuge documents have already closed, SCI members still have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft environmental assessments for several refuges including Lake Umbagog NWR (N.H., due April 13), Stewart B. McKinney NWR (Ct., due April 13), Whittlesey Creek NWR (Wisconsin, due April 13), Canaan Valley NWR (W.Va., due April 14), Occoquan Bay NWR (Va., due April 14), Maine Coastal Islands NWR (Me., due April 15), Moosehorn NWR (Me., due April 15), Plum Tree Island (Va., due April 15), Rappahannock River Valley NWR (Va., due April 15), Assabet River NWR (Ma., due April 16), Great Meadows (Ma., due April 16), Oxbow NWR (Ma., Due April 16), Big Oaks NWR (Indiana, due April 17), Boyer Chute NWR (Nebraska, due April 17), DeSoto NWR (Iowa, due April 17), Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR (Minnesota, due April 17) and Squaw Creek NWR (Missouri, due April 26). If you would like to comment on one or more of these refuges, please check the refuge website and/or contact the refuge directly to obtain the planning documents currently out for review.

SCI Lion
Be a Part of Elkhorn Ranch

The American Wildlife Conservation Partners, of which SCI is a founding member, have over the last 22 months of campaigning, secured the political will enabling the U.S. Forest Service to acquire Theodore Roosevelt’s famed Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota. This 24,550 acre property is where Theodore Roosevelt spent from 1884 to 1887 ranching and studying the West riding throughout the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. He witnessed first hand the destruction of the West’s natural resources by railroaders, timber barons, miners, cattle and sheep herders overgrazing the range land, and commercial hunters. From his first hand observations in the saddle, he conceived the very notion of conservation of our natural resources as we know it today, and wrote 6 books on his observation. The Elkhorn Ranch is where the idea of conservation was conceived and born; hence it is called “The Cradle of Conservation” or “The Walden Pond of the American West.”

A major fundraising campaign is underway to facilitate the acquisition of the Elkhorn, and provide funds for habitat restoration, remediation, signage, and educational programs. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is facilitating the purchase and serving as the “bank” for donations. If you are interested, please address your contribution to: Grant Parker, General Counsel, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 5705 Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana 59808. If you would like more information regarding this fundraising campaign, you may contact Lowell Baier, Executive Vice President, Boone and Crockett Club, 4909 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814; telephone 301-718-1800; LEBaier@BaierProperties.com.

SCI Lion
Leather Bags

The response to the free briefcases from SCI members and chapters was amazing. Good to know you all read thru your Crosshairs! Please be patient as we sort through the orders. Unfortunately, we had many more requests than we did bags so we sent out what we could. Some of you got less than what you asked for but we hope you can use them anyway! For those who did receive a bag(s), please send a check for the cost of shipping listed on the outside of your package attn: SCI to SCI DC 501 2nd St NE Washington DC 20002.