December 10, 2007 "In The Crosshairs"

In The Crosshairs Newsletter

December 10, 2007

SCI Lion 
China to Re-Open Hunting in Fall 2008?

SCI has been informed by government sources in China that trophy hunting by foreigners will reopen in 2008. SCI is working on verifying that information and getting more details. SCI approached the Chinese Minister of Environment and Tourism on this issue at the CITES meeting last June in Holland. Since then, SCI has sent a technical team to China for discussions with various government officials. We will keep you posted when more details become available.

SCI Lion 
Wider Lead Ban in Condor Range

Despite the strong opposition of SCI and other sporting groups, the California Fish and Game Commission expanded a statutory ban on the use of lead ammunition in condor "range" in central and southern California (about a 1/3 to 1/4 of the State). Lead ammunition is now prohibited in condor range for all big game (e.g., deer, elk, bear, wild pig) and non-game birds and mammals (e.g., crow, coyote, ground squirrels). While the legislative ban recently passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger did not include non-game bird and mammals (other than coyote) and did not cover rimfire firearms, the regulatory ban covers all of these. Most troubling, the regulatory ban covers .22 caliber rimfire rifles, used mainly for small game. Currently, no nonlead ammunition exists for this firearm. In addition, the State's environmental review concluded that nongame bird and mammal carcasses do not represent a significant threat to the condor. The regulatory ban tracks the statutory ban's definition of condor "range" to include large areas of historic range where no condors currently exist. Consistent with SCI's comments, the Commission did define nonlead ammunition as allowing up to 1% lead, as currently available nonlead ammunition contains trace amounts of lead. Under the statute, the Commission must establish procedures to certify nonlead ammunition and a coupon reimbursement program if private funds can be found. Finally, the Commission established that mere possession of uncertified (i.e., leaded) ammunition and a firearm capable of discharging it in condor "range" is a violation of the law punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. The lead ammunition ban goes into effect on July 1, 2008.

SCI Lion 
More on Tanzania Fee Increase

Sources inside Tanzania have confirmed that a deal has been reached for the 2007 hunting season. Trophy fees will go up 15% and block fees to the outfitters will go up 50%. Some outfitters are expected to pass those costs on to their customers while others may not. Check with your outfitter for more information before hunting. SCI will keep you posted.

SCI Lion 
Trophy Hunting Important for Namibian Economy

“Trophy hunting in Namibia is a significant contributor to the country's economy, with about eight per cent of the annual gross domestic product (GDP), says the president of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA).’The hunting of about 25,000 wild animals organized by hunting professionals in 2005 brought a turnover of N$316 million and surpassed income from the entire small livestock sector the same year, which was N$285 million,’ said Diethelm Metzger, president of NAPHA at the organisation's annual general meeting last week. ‘Trophy hunting is an important section of the tourism industry and grew an average of 12.5 per cent annually since 1996,’ Metzger added. This was a remarkable achievement, especially since there was little or no financial support to trophy hunting from Government, he said. ‘The National Budget of Government for the defense sector, which is around 10 per cent, is twice as high than for tourism and agriculture together,’ according to Metzger. He said for each trophy hunter visiting Namibia, five to six jobs were created since it was a labour-intensive part of the tourism industry, requiring camp attendants, service staff, game trackers, hunting assistants and professional hunters, he told delegates.” (Source: The Namibian)

SCI Lion 
SCI Files Amicus Brief in Minnesota Lynx Case

Over the opposition of anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups, SCI filed a substantive brief last week supporting the State of Minnesota's trapping program. These groups have challenged the program as violating the Endangered Species Act because in the past trappers have accidentally caught a few lynx, a species on the endangered species list. The lawsuit seeks to stop or severely restrict trapping in lynx range in Minnesota. The Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA), a coalition of sporting and conservation groups, joined SCI in filing the brief. In their brief, SCI/MOHA explained that holding the State liable in this situation would harm beneficial sustainable use conservation activities like trapping and hunting. SCI/MOHA also made several other legal and factual arguments. SCI (represented by its in-house litigation counsel) and MOHA (represented by SCI/MOHA member Kirk Schnitker) will attend the hearing on the case the Court has scheduled for January 17, 2008 in Minneapolis.

SCI Lion 
CLE Correction

On November 21, Crosshairs reported on a Wildlife Law CLE Course that will be held in Reno, Nevada on January 24, 2007. SCI's Litigation Department would like to clarify that lawyers wishing to register for the course must do so with the State Bar of Nevada. Registration for the CLE course is separate from registration for the SCI Convention. Those wishing to attend the CLE course must register no later than December 21, 2007. Registration forms can be downloaded from