June 8, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

June 8, 2007

SCI Lion
Bad Ammo Bill Passes California Assembly

California Assembly Bill 362 passed thru the Assembly this week by a vote of 41-31 and is now headed to the Senate. AB362 would require that all handgun ammunition buyers be registered at the time of each purchase with the State Department of Justice; that no person shall sell or transfer more than 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in any month unless they are registered as a handgun ammunition vendor; ammunition vendors must obtain a background clearance for employees who handle ammunition in the course and scope of their employment; and that no retail seller of ammunition shall sell, offer for sale, or display for sale, any handgun ammunition in a manner that allows ammunition to be accessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the retailer or employee. Violation of these provisions would be punishable as an infraction with a fine of $500, or as a misdemeanor. There is also a provision for ammo to only be purchased face to face (no mail or internet sales) and there is a promise by the author to amend the bill later to require costly criminal and mental history background checks for handgun ammunition buyers each time they buy ammunition. SCI is strongly fighting this legislation and we will keep you posted.

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Conservation Method?

In an effort to curtail poaching in Zimbabwe, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management along with the guidance of the World Wildlife Fund, have decided to de-horn approximately 780 black and white rhinos. Their hopes are to create a disincentive for poachers and thus protect the sustainable size of the rhino population. No actions as of yet have been taken, but SCI will keep you posted on any new developments. For the full story, visit www.africanhuntinginfo.com or http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Zimbabwe/0,,2-11-1662_2122160,00.htm.

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March of the Penguins – to ESA

“Environmentalists threatened to sue the Bush administration unless it extends endangered species protection to 12 penguin species whose polar habitat is shrinking due to global climate. The Center for Biological Diversity filed notice of its intent to sue in a bid to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to respond to their previous request to list the penguins under the Endangered Species Act. The penguin petition is similar to the Center's complaint on the polar bear two years ago. That lawsuit eventually led to the Bush administration's proposal this year to list the bear.” SCI is involved in the polar bear issue and will keep an eye on this one as well. (Source: E&E Daily)

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Two Energy Companies Keep Private Land Open For Hunters

“Working with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, EnCana and Shell have agreed to keep several large privately-owned parcels open for public hunting in the Piceance Creek area. The two energy firms have reached separate agreements with the DOW to allow hunting on private land owned by the companies. The EnCana agreement is a one year commitment by the company to keep approximately 17,000 acres of private land on the Roan Plateau open during the 2007 big game hunting seasons. Access to property owned by Shell is maintained through a ten year hunting access lease that Shell and the DOW entered into in 2006. The agreement leases more than 19,000 acres of land to the DOW for hunting access for $1 per year. To protect the safety of energy exploration workers that may be operating in the areas the agreement lays out specific areas where hunting is allowed. For more information about hunting access locations, please contact the DOW Meeker office at (970) 878-6090 or PO Box 1181, Meeker, CO 81641. (Source: Colorado Division of Wildlife)

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FWS Announces Bald Eagle Management Actions

In anticipation of the pending delisting of the Bald Eagle from the threatened species list (expected June 29, 2007), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a number of actions intended to continue to protect the species post delisting. First, the FWS defined the term "disturb" under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), as “to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, . . . 1) injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.” Second, the FWS finalized "guidelines" to help people avoid violating the BGEPA. Relative to hunting, the guidelines say that there is no need to maintain a buffer around eagle nests outside the breeding season. During the breeding season, if the activity is visible or highly audible from the nest, the Guidelines suggest maintaining a 330-foot buffer, particularly where eagles are unaccustomed to the activity. The following website contains links to the final rule, the Guidelines, and a great deal of other information about the bald eagle and the golden eagle and all of these administrative actions: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/baldeagle.htm.

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National Parks Request One Billon Dollars

“The National Parks system needs $100 million per year of federal funding for the next 10 years to meet new and existing challenges facing the network that include land preservation, general up-keep and the encouragement of national interest, according to an Interior Department report. The report concludes that the park system's new challenges include a more urbanized and outdoors-ignorant U.S. population; a more tech-savvy population that can clash with the rustic nature of parks; and the rapid aging of the park service's work force. To address those changes, the report calls for the potential addition of new parks, acquisition of new lands inside parks as buffers to development near borders and the use of technology to engage visitors. Details on how the Interior plans to meet the broad goals laid out by Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will be filed in the coming months as superintendents of each of the 391 units in the park system draft park-specific centennial plans identifying projects and programs they would like to implement.” (Source: Greenwire)