ALERT: Stop the Senate sneak attack on wolves‏


Anti-wildlife senators in Washington, D.C. have introduced a series of amendments to the Energy Bill that would cripple wolf conservation and set wildlife protection back by decades.

Urgent – Tell your senators to oppose anti-wildlife amendments to the Energy Bill when it comes up for a vote.

These amendments would undermine protections for individual species like wolves and tear away at the very fabric of the law by limiting citizens’ ability to enforce essential protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in court.

There are three amendments in particular that must be defeated:

The “let’s throw wolves under the bus” amendment – would delist wolves in Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes. We’ve seen what delisting looks like in Wyoming, where it was open season on wolves every day of the year in 80% of the state before the courts put a stop to it;

The “leave bats in the dust” amendment – would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting the highly imperiled northern long-eared bat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act; and

The “forget your day in court” amendment – tries to block citizens from going to court to hold the government accountable when it does not properly enforce the ESA. This amendment would bar recovery of legal fees otherwise available under the law and allow local governments to veto a federal court’s decision to enforce the law with regard to certain species.

In the past year alone, anti-wildlife forces have introduced over 90 legislative measures aimed at crippling America’s commitment to restoring and protecting imperiled wildlife.

Tell your senator to oppose these lethal amendments!

Thank you for all you do.

Black female wolf 831f Yellowstone National Park_2012 NPS

‘”Sportsman’s” Act’: You Shall Not Pass

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson
An Animal Rights Article from


Franziska, Northwest Animal Rights Group (NARN)
February 2015

Take more action here: Oppose Trophy Hunter Supported Sportsmen’s Act

Once again, a small faction of wealthy trophy hunters is pressuring your elected officials to allow the importation of — are you SERIOUS? — threatened polar bear trophies from Canada. They also want to open millions of acres of public lands to “sport” hunting and commercial trapping. And they want to do it without evaluating possible implications for animals, habitat and the opinions of Americans.

One definition of the word “sport” is as follows:

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

I will let you contemplate such things as baiting, blinds, beer, hunting accidents, night scopes, decoys, lures, hounds, high-powered rifles, crossbows, camouflage AND MANY MORE as you mentally list the reasons hunting and trapping ARE NOT SPORTS.

In view of that…let’s shoot down the mis-named “Sportsman’s Act”.

Once again, a small faction of wealthy trophy hunters is pressuring your elected officials to allow the importation of — are you SERIOUS? — threatened polar bear trophies from Canada.

  • They also want to open millions of acres of public lands to “sport” hunting and commercial trapping.
  • And they want to do it without evaluating possible implications for animals, habitat and the opinions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s wild spaces without having to kill the inhabitants.
  • This bill would also permanently strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the authority to regulate lead shot and other ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and would add lead sinkers and other fishing gear to the existing exemptions.
  • To add insult to injury, the bill would direct up to $10 million annually toward improving access to landlocked public lands, allocate a larger proportion of existing federal funding to building and maintaining shooting ranges on federal and non-federal lands, and require federal land managers to consider how their plans may impact hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.

Do I need to remind you of the suffering involved for animals left to die slowly of bad shots, for their families and children, for animals trapped for days in agony, whose only release is (maybe) the trapper and his dogs? Hunting and trapping are NOT sports. They are HORRORS.

Please, if you don’t already know who they are and how to get in touch with them, find your federal legislators here [U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative]. Make a brief, polite phone call today to urge them to OPPOSE S. 405, the Sportsmen’s Act, and protect our wildlife and wildlands. (I know you don’t FEEL polite. I don’t either. But let’s pull ourselves together.) Follow up with an email (links at the same site above).

Stop the “Sportsmen’s Act”


The dreaded so-called “Sportsmen’s Act” is back.

Yet again, a small faction of wealthy trophy hunters is pressuring your elected officials to allow the importation of threatened polar bear trophies from Canada. They also want to open millions of acres of public lands to10368479_10152532154104586_2706872192299860162_n sport hunting and commercial trapping, without evaluating possible implications on animals, habitat and Americans who enjoy our nation’s wild spaces. They are also fighting to keep pumping tons of toxic lead ammunition into the environment, poisoning the land and wildlife, even when non-lead ammo is readily available.

Please make a brief, polite phone call today to your Senators and urge them to OPPOSE S. 405, the Sportsmen’s Act, and protect our wildlife and wildlands.

Wildlife needs strong voices like yours to stand up for them. After you call, don’t forget to send a follow-up message»

Good News: Unsporting Bill Shot Down

Michael Markarian: Animals & Politics


The Senate today shot down a motion to move forward on S. 2363, the dangerous if innocuous sounding “Sportsmen’s Act,” which has been portrayed as feel-good legislation but could have serious and far-reaching consequences for wildlife, public spaces, and human health and safety. The bill needed 60 votes to advance, but only received 41 in favor, and 56 opposed—a result of some Democrats opposing the bill because of its extreme provisions and Republicans uniting in opposition because they could not offer amendments on gun rights and other topics.


A bald eagle at Mystic Lake in Massachusetts. Photo by John Harrison
Sportsmen, of course, are already allowed to pursue their activities on the vast majority of federal public lands, including national forests, BLM lands, and most national wildlife refuges, with only national parks and some national monuments generally closed to hunting. That’s not to mention the millions of acres of state and private lands also available. But as things now stand, resource managers have the flexibility to look at the big picture and determine when it makes sense to allow hunting and fur trapping—and when it doesn’t. They consider local concerns such as whether endangered or threatened species are present, and balance the interests of hunters and trappers with other public land users and recreationalists.
S. 2363 would flip the burden and turn the current process on its head. Public lands would be “open unless closed” to hunting and fur trapping, regardless of whether they’re compatible with other land uses or threatened or endangered species, and closing lands would require a burdensome bureaucratic process. On top of that, the bill would force land managers to prioritize hunting and trapping above other outdoor activities, effectively excluding a large proportion of the American public from enjoying our national spaces, including in designated “wilderness areas.” Rather than local control, it would be a federal fiat from Washington that the default is to allow sport hunting and the use of painful and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps.
The harmful legislation would also stop scientists at the EPA from restricting the use of lead ammunition, which is a known toxin that kills millions of wild animals from more than 130 species each year, including bald eagles, California condors, and other threatened and endangered species. These bullets keep on killing long after they’ve left the chamber, with animals poisoned by eating the lead fragments directly, preying on contaminated animals, or feeding on gut piles left behind by hunters.
President George H.W. Bush’s administration banned the use of lead for all waterfowl hunting in 1991, and non-lead ammunition such as copper, steel, and bismuth are readily available and affordable. That sensible policy has prevented the poisoning deaths of millions of birds, and it’s been part of the march of progress toward getting toxic lead out of the environment. There’s no compelling reason for Congress to thumb its nose at science and innovation, and forbid EPA or any other responsible agency, with appropriate authority and expertise, from even examining this issue.

a polar bear in the wild
Finally, this bill is a sweetheart deal for millionaire big-game hunters. Far from benefiting our nation’s rank-and-file sportsmen, this is a special order delivery for only 41 wealthy big game hunters who dropped up to $50,000 each for guided polar bear hunts in the Arctic. These trophy hunters, who compete to see their names in the Safari Club record books for killing the rarest species around the world, have been lobbying Congress to allow them to bring the heads and hides of threatened polar bears into this country from Canada in defiance of current law.
This would be the latest in a series of import allowances that Congress has approved—each time making the argument that it’s only a few animals and the polar bears are already dead and have no conservation value—but the cumulative impacts of these waivers time and time again lead to more reckless trophy killing. Do we want Congress to set this kind of precedent, encouraging trophy hunters to kill rare animals as they are about to be listed as endangered or threatened species and then to get relief from Congress to make a special dispensation for them?
Thank you to all the animal advocates who contacted your Senators and asked them to oppose this extreme and reckless “Sportsmen’s Act.” Those calls made a difference—a game-changing difference for millions of animals. Wild animals and the environment have dodged a bullet now that this terrible package of anti-conservation policies has stalled in the Senate.

Wildlife and Wildlands in Danger: Tell Your Senators to Oppose the “Sportsmen’s Act”


The U.S. Senate will soon be voting on the dangerous “Sportsmen’s Act”, a radical handout to extreme trophy hunting groups.

In a single swoop, this legislation would open millions of acres of public lands — including sensitive Wilderness Areas — to hunting and fur trapping, at the expense of other land users and endangered and threatened species. It would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from even considering the issue of toxic lead ammunition which poisons wildlife and the environment. And it would permit the latest in a series of import allowances for sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada, encouraging trophy hunters to escalate the killing of threatened species around the globe.

Your senators need to hear from you right now. Please make a brief, polite phone call today to your senators today…

The so-called “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014” (S. 2363) is a devious bill that combines several radical hunting proposals into one package. In a single swoop, this legislation would open millions of acres of public lands — including sensitive Wilderness Areas — to hunting and fur trapping, at the expense of other land users and endangered and threatened species. It would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from even considering the issue of toxic lead ammunition which poisons wildlife and the environment. And it would permit the latest in a series of import allowances for sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada, encouraging trophy hunters to escalate the killing of threatened species around the globe.

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your two U.S. Senators, urging opposition for S. 2363. Look up your senators’ phone numbers here. You can say: “I would like you to please oppose S. 2363, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014.”


More states working to protect right to hunt

Message - Yes I am an idiot

April 28By AHN
Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Jack, AL, United States (4E Sports) – The Alabama Dog Hunters Association, headed by Don Knight, plans to court its 10,000 members to back a proposed amendment that would enshrine the right to “hunt, fish and harvest wildlife” in the state’s constitution.

Knight is worried that animal-rights groups around the country are intent on restricting his cherished pastime by pushing measures that, for instance, would forbid the use of dogs to pursue game.

“They’re just nipping away at it any way they can,” said Knight.

Both chambers of the state legislature voted overwhelmingly earlier this spring to place the question on the November ballot. The effort, if it succeeds, would strengthen an amendment passed in 1996.

Similar efforts, which have been promoted by the National Rifle Association and sportsmen’s groups in recent years, are unfolding in eight other states, while 17, including Alabama, already have such constitutional guarantees.

A proposed amendment to create a constitutional right to hunt and fish also will appear on the November ballot in Mississippi while similar bills were introduced or carried over in Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia and four other states this year.

Some animal-rights organizations say fears of outright hunting bans are unfounded.

The amendments “are largely an overreaction to efforts that seek to curb abusive or unsporting practices,” such as using dogs to corner and tree bears, or baiting animals with food, said Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer at the Humane Society of the U.S. “Eliminating bear baiting doesn’t mean there’s no bear hunting.”

In Maine, a ballot proposal this fall would prohibit bear hunting with bait, dogs or traps.

In California, two laws tightening hunting restrictions were signed in the past two years: one banning bear and bobcat hunting with dogs, the other use of lead ammunition.

The second law is aimed at protecting condors and other wildlife that sometimes scavenge carrion with lead fragments in it.

And a lawsuit filed by conservation groups in North Carolina last year seeks to ban coyote hunting in a region of the state populated with endangered red wolves, which are sometimes mistaken for coyotes.

Data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that hunting-license sales peaked in the early 1980s, then began to steadily decline. Researchers point to a variety of reasons, including urbanization, the shrinking availability of land for hunting and the rise of more-protective views toward wildlife.

However, the agency’s most recent national survey, conducted every five years, found that the number of hunters increased by 9% between 2006 and 2011.

Defeat the Sportsmen Heritage Act!!

URGENT – CALLS NEEDED TODAY Defeat the Sportsmen Heritage Act

In Defense of AnimalsPlease act immediately! We need you to make calls RIGHT NOW or before the end of the workday today, Friday, February 21, at the latest. These bills could be taken up and move very fast Monday, February 24, or soon after.

Senate bill 1996 and its seven companion bills are extremely bad for wildlife and the non-hunting public alike. The goal of this package of bills, collectively called SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act), is to further “sportsmen’s” interests by opening more federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping, allowing the importation of polar bear “trophies” from Canada, and allowing hunting in National Parks.


The House has already passed the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2013. Now there is Senate bill 1996, and a package of seven companion bills, all of which would tragically hurt wildlife and take away the rights of the majority of Americans who don’t hunt, trap, or fish.

If enacted, these bills would:

  1. Mandate a free-for-all of trappers/hunters/fishermen/recreational shooters on 700 million acres of National Forests and Bureau of Land Management land (BLM) – federal public land that belongs to YOU. Trapping is implicit and defined as a subtype of hunting and as such, trapping is green-lighted without being mentioned again. This is analogous to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 by Don Young (R-AK), which turned National Wildlife Refuges System from sanctuaries into playgrounds for hunters, anglers, and trappers.
  2. Make hunting, fishing, and trapping a “priority public use” of federal lands. National Forests and BLM land are hunted, trapped, and fished already. Many have public shooting ranges. The bills would go even further by placing one class of visitors above the majority of recreationists on federal public lands who don’t hunt, trap, or fish. The bills would be a menace to public safety and interfere with other visitors’ quiet, peaceful enjoyment of nature.
  3. Get hunters into National Parks through a backdoor. While hunting is prohibited in National Parks, “skilled volunteers” (read: hunters) would be allowed in the killing (culling) of wildlife populations on federal lands.
  4. Allow polar bear “trophies” from Canada be imported into the US. That would stimulate hunting of this imperiled species.
  5. Bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers. Lead is a neurotoxin which we’ve eliminated from gasoline, paint, and toys. But 3,000 tons of lead shot and bullets per year are fired into the wild and 4,000 tons per year from fishing tackle is lost in ponds and streams. Many birds of prey ingest spent lead fragments when feeding on animals that were shot and are themselves killed.

What We Need From You:

  1. We only want to contact the Senators listed at the end of this alert. Please look at the list of Senators below. If none of your Senators are listed, no action is necessary, but please stay tuned. If you do see your Senator(s) listed, please CALL them immediately – before the end of the workday today, Friday, February 21. See our list of Senators to call below.
  2. To the person in the office of the Senator(s), say this:
    “Please ask Senator _________ to call the cloakroom and state that he has concerns about all of the following bills: S.1996 Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, S. 170 Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, S. 738 Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act, S. 847 Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2013, S. 1212 Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, S. 1335 Sportsmen’s Act, S. 1634 Hunter and Farmer Protection Act of 2013, and S. 1660 SPORT Act.”

Have the office person read back the bill numbers to ensure they’re correct. If asked for reasons for the Senators to be concerned see 1-5 above.

List of Senators to contact, sorted by state:

<strong>California:</strong><br>Boxer, Barbara – (D – CA) 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3553 Contact: <a href=”; target=”_blank” data-mce-href=””></a&gt;

Feinstein, Dianne – (D – CA) 331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3841 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3841 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Bennet, Michael F. – (D – CO) 458 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5852 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5852 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Blumenthal, Richard – (D – CT) 724 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2823 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2823 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Coons, Christopher A. – (D – DE)  127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5042 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5042 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE) 513 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2441 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Hirono, Mazie K. – (D – HI) (202) 224-6361 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6361 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Schatz, Brian – (D – HI)  722 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3934 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3934 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Kirk, Mark – (R – IL)  524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2854 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2854 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Indiana: Harkin, Tom – (D – IA)  731 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3254 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3254 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2523 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2523 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD)  509 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4524 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4524 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Mikulski, Barbara A. – (D – MD) 503 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4654 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4654 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Markey, Edward J. – (D – MA) 218 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2742 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2742 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI) 133 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4822 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4822 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Levin, Carl – (D – MI)  269 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6221 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6221 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
New Hampshire:
Shaheen, Jeanne – (D – NH) 520 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2841 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2841 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
New Jersey:
Booker, Cory A. – (D – NJ) 141 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3224 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3224 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
New Mexico:
Udall, Tom – (D – NM) 110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6621 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6621 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
New York:
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY) 478 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4451 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4451 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY) 322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6542 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6542 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Brown, Sherrod – (D – OH) 713 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2315 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2315 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Wyden, Ron – (D – OR)  221 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5244 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5244 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Casey, Robert P., Jr. – (D – PA) 393 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6324 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6324 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Rhode Island:
Reed, Jack – (D – RI) 728 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4642 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4642 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Whitehouse, Sheldon – (D – RI)  530 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2921 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2921 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Sanders, Bernard – (I – VT) Class I332 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5141 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5141 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Leahy, Patrick J. – (D – VT) 437 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4242 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4242 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Murray, Patty – (D – WA) 154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2621 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2621 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA) 311 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3441 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:
Baldwin, Tammy – (D – WI) 717 Hart Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5653 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5653 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact:

Bill promoting hunting, fishing passes U.S. House

By Dave Golowenski For The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday February 9, 2014

A divergent range of sportsmen’s groups commended the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE) last week.

The package of eight bills represented by SHARE would promote hunting and fishing on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and make the purchase of a federal duck stamp easier. Among the act’s authors is Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).

Groups including Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership praised the bill and urged the Senate to follow the House’s bipartisan approval.

Meanwhile, a measure that would raise the price of a federal duck stamp to $25 from the current $15 moved out of a Senate committee last week. Revenues generated by the stamp help fund wetlands conservation.

No bump in price has occurred since 1991, the longest period without an increase since the program was established during the 1930s.

Honked off

A Mississippi hunter is reporting he got his 8-point buck after he blew his nose. The sound apparently ticked off the buck, which came running toward the hunter’s stand in full attack mode.–house.html


Republicans Push Lead Poisoning of Wildlife Disguised as “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act”

For Immediate Release, February 3, 2014

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351 or bsnape@biologicaldiversity.orgRepublicans Push Lead Poisoning of Wildlife Disguised as “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act”

Legislation Would Also Roll Back Public-lands Protection, Promote Polar Bear Trophy Hunting

WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on H.R.Fudd 3590, the misnamed “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.” Under the guise of expanding hunting and fishing access on public lands, the Republican-supported bill aims to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting millions of birds and other animals from lead poisoning. The extremist legislation also contains provisions to undermine the Wilderness Act, dispense with environmental review for projects on national wildlife refuges, and promote polar bear hunting.

“Another cynical assault by House Republicans to roll back protections for public lands and wildlife,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This supposed ‘sportsmen’s legislation’ would actually jeopardize the health of hunters, promote needless lead poisoning of our wildlife, and prevent hunters, anglers and other members of the public from weighing in on decisions about how to manage 150 million acres of federal land and water.”

H.R. 3590 seeks to exempt toxic lead in ammunition and fishing equipment from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the federal law that regulates toxic substances. The EPA is currently allowed to regulate or ban any chemical substance for a particular use, including the lead used in shot and bullets. Affordable, effective nontoxic alternatives exist for lead ammunition and lead sinkers for all hunting and fishing activities.

Spent lead from hunting is a widespread killer of more than 75 species of birds such as bald eagles, endangered condors, loons and swans, and nearly 50 mammals. More than 265 organizations in 40 states have been pressuring the EPA to enact federal rules requiring use of nontoxic bullets and shot for hunting and shooting sports.

“There are powerful reasons we banned toxic lead from gasoline, plumbing and paint — lead is a known neurotoxin that endangers the health of hunters and their families and painfully kills bald eagles and other wildlife,” said Snape.

H.R. 3590 would also exempt all national wildlife refuge management decisions from review and public disclosure under the National Environmental Policy Act and allow the import of polar bear “trophies” from Canada. The Republican-controlled House approved similar “Sportsmen’s Act” legislation in 2012 by a vote of 274-146, but the bill was stopped in the Senate.

Despite being banned in 1992 for hunting waterfowl, spent lead shotgun pellets from other hunting uses continue to be frequently ingested by waterfowl. Many birds also consume lead-based fishing tackle lost in lakes and rivers, often with deadly consequences. Birds and animals are also poisoned when scavenging on carcasses containing lead-bullet fragments. More than 500 scientific papers have documented the dangers to wildlife from lead exposure. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calculates that more than 14,000 tons of toxic lead shot is deposited in the environment each year in the United States by upland bird hunting alone.

Lead ammunition leaves fragments and numerous imperceptible, dust-sized particles that contaminate game meat far from a bullet track, causing significant health risks to people eating wild game. Recent scientific studies show that hunters have higher lead levels in their bloodstream, and more associated health problems, than the public at large. Some state health agencies have recalled venison donated to feed the hungry because of dangerous lead contamination from bullet fragments.

There are many alternatives to lead rifle bullets and shotgun pellets. More than a dozen manufacturers market hundreds of varieties and calibers of nonlead bullets and shot made of steel, copper and alloys of other metals, with satisfactory-to-superior ballistics. A recent study debunks claims that price and availability of nonlead ammunition could preclude switching to nontoxic rounds for hunting. Researchers found no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers.

Hunters in areas with lead ammunition restrictions have transitioned to hunting with nontoxic bullets. There has been no decrease in game tags or hunting activity since state requirements for nonlead hunting went into effect in significant portions of Southern California in 2008 to protect condors from lead poisoning. California recently passed legislation to transition to lead-free hunting statewide by 2019.

Learn more about the Center’s Get the Lead Out campaign.

Bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduces 2013 Sportsmen’s Package

Bad news, from: “Hunting LifeBowshot deer

by: Kevin Paulson date: September 26, 2013

Bipartisan Congressional Sportsmens Caucus Leadership Introduces 2013 Sportsmens PackageSeptember 26, 2013

(Washington, DC) – In a significant advancement for sportsmen and women across the country, the bipartisan House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) introduced the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013. This legislative package includes various pro-sportsmen’s bills that will help ensure our outdoor traditions are protected and advanced, and addresses some of the most current concerns of American hunters and recreational anglers and shooters. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in a decade, the passage of the SHARE Act would be a legislative milestone for the sportsmen’s community.
CSC Co-Chairs, Representatives Bob Latta and Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chairs, Representatives Rob Wittman and Tim Walz, introduced the SHARE Act as a bipartisan package of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in an effort to continue to safeguard and promote America’s hunting and fishing traditions.

“This bipartisan legislative package is an important advancement for the outdoor sporting community, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward and to promote the values and traditions that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy in the United States,” stated Co-Chair, Rep. Bob Latta.

Co-Chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, praised the CSC leadership for their efforts in getting this legislation to the House floor. “Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus introduced meaningful legislation that promotes the interest of hunters and anglers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to advance this legislation.”

Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), emphasized bipartisan cooperation in advancing the SHARE Act in the 113th Congress. “I thank the bipartisan leadership of the CSC for their efforts in introducing this vital legislation. In July, a sportsmen’s package was the topic of CSF’s breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill, where many sportsmen-legislators voiced their support.”

Some of these priorities that this legislation addresses includes: protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle by American hunters and anglers, the potential increase of more Pittman-Robertson funds for shooting ranges, the permanent authorization of the electronic duck stamp, the importation of polar bear carcasses legally harvested in Canada before 2008, authorizing the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement a new fishery management plan that will ensure the long-term conservation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and helps facilitate the use of and access to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting. It also prohibits the enforcement of individual firearm regulations at water resources development projects administered by the Corps of Engineers, and prohibits additional fees for commercial filming on federal lands and waterways.

This legislation will also permanently establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting and recreational shooting.

Vice-Chair, Rep. Tim Walz, stated, “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, historic legislation that will protect and advance our American outdoor heritage for generations to come.”

Vice-Chair, Rep. Rob Wittman also voiced his support for the SHARE Act. “As a sportsman, I am humbled to advocate for this community and help introduce this legislation to advance priorities of American anglers, hunters and conservationists. This common sense package will expand opportunities for recreation, support fair treatment and modernize programs for sportsmen, and includes a proposal I authored to allow migratory waterfowl hunters to purchase their annual Federal duck stamp online,” Rep. Wittman stated.

CSF will continue to keep you apprised as this legislation continues to move through Congress. For more information on CSF, click here.

Since 1989 the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, recreational fishing and shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the CSC, the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, recreational fishing and shooting, and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the agenda of America’s hunters and anglers.