May 16, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

May 16, 2007

SCI Lion
U.S. Issues Tougher Warning About Zimbabwe

A recent story from The Hunting Report says that “the U.S. State Department, which issued a tough new Consular Information Sheet about Zimbabwe last week, has followed that up with an even tougher Zimbabwe Public Announcement dated May 11. In light of the new announcement, booked hunters should get in touch with their outfitters and/or agents and discuss conditions in the areas they plan to hunt.” Click here to read the new Zimbabwe public announcement Click here to read the new consular information sheet (Source: The Hunting Report)

SCI LionPolar Bear Hunting in Jeopardy?

“A bill proposed in the House would bar hunters from bringing polar bears killed in trophy hunts into the United States. Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) introduced the "Polar Bear Protection Act" to try to stop polar bear hunts, which occur mostly in Canada. The polar bear has become an icon of global climate change and is currently under consideration for protection as a threatened species in the United States. The bill would restore the 1972 moratorium on the importation of marine mammal trophies, repealing an exception from 1994 that allows the Interior Department to issue permits to bring in polar bear carcasses from hunts in Canada. The Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have all endorsed the measure. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and hunting groups say Canada's hunt helps the polar bears overall, since it funnels money into research and conservation programs. Hunters will pay $30,000 to $50,000 for the privilege of participating in the trophy hunt. Much of that money goes toward polar bear conservation or back to the indigenous population who live near the bears. Americans make up 90 to 95 percent of the polar bear hunting clientele, according to the U.S. Sportsmen Alliance, but would be unlikely to go and spend the money to bag a bear if they could not import it back to the United States. Hunting groups expect the Fish and Wildlife Service would likely impose similar restrictions on importing the bear if it is protected under the Endangered Species Act.” SCI will be closely monitoring this bill. (Source: E&E Daily)

SCI Lion
Removing Wildlife on Santa Rosa

“The Bush administration clarified its position on legislation meant to repeal a controversial law that would prevent the National Park Service from killing off deer and elk on California's Santa Rosa Island, despite widespread disagreement on exactly what the language does and does not require. At issue is an attempt by California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to ensure the ability of Channel Islands National Park to phase out hunting on the island and remove the remaining deer and elk by the end of 2011. S. 1209 would strike a rider inserted by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), then-chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in the Defense Department authorization bill last fall. The law prohibits NPS from acting to "exterminate or nearly exterminate the deer and elk" populations. NPS bought Santa Rosa Island from Vail & Vickers Ltd. in 1986 for $30 million, but the agency says the current hunting operation cuts off public access to 90 percent of the island off the Ventura County coast for four to five months out of the year. NPS wants to remove the deer and elk to benefit native plants and animals and open the entire island to hiking, camping and sightseeing on a year-round basis. In a change from its position last year, the Interior Department now believes the Hunter rider still requires Vail & Vickers to remove the roughly 1,100 Kaibab Mule Deer and Roosevelt Elk by the end of 2011.” (Source: E&E Daily)

SCI Lion
Land Acquisition

“Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced more than $68 million in grants to 21 states and one territory to support conservation planning and acquisition of vital habitat for threatened and endangered species across the nation. The grants, awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, will benefit species ranging from butterflies to bull trout. Authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, the cooperative endangered species fund this year will provide $7.5 million through the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants Program, $47 million through the Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition Grants Program and $13.9 million through the Recovery Land Acquisition Grants Program. These three programs were established to help reduce potential conflicts between the conservation of threatened and endangered species and land development and use.” (Source: USFWS)

SCI Lion
Private Landowner Payments

“Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced grants totaling more than $7.2 million will go to private landowners and groups in 36 states for conservation projects to benefit endangered, threatened and other at-risk species through the Private Stewardship Grants Program. This year’s grants will benefit native species ranging from the Santa Catalina Island fox in California to the Nashville crayfish in Tennessee. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, each of the 80 grants requires at least a 10 percent match in non-federal dollars or in-kind contributions. Now in its fifth year, the Private Stewardship Grants Program provides federal grants on a competitive basis to individuals and groups engaged in voluntary conservation efforts on private lands that benefit federally listed endangered or threatened species, candidate species or other at-risk species. Under this program, private landowners as well as groups working with private landowners submit proposals directly to the Service for funding to support these efforts. (Source: USFWS)