Yesterday, a friend of mine sent details on the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089) … and today I saw similar postings in various environmental blogs. The bill will: undermine polar bear protections by allowing the importation of polar bear trophies; require federal agencies to open up more public lands to hunting; and, prevent the EPA from regulating lead in ammunition and in fishing gear.
The HSUS — long maligned by sportsmen’s groups because of its advocacy against such measures — is asking concerned citizens to contact their Congressional Representatives against this bill. (The NRA, which supports passage of the bill, calls this act “a compilation of four bills” and lists the hunter-friendly provisions.)
There is so much public land already open to hunting, I have a tough time finding federal and even state land where I’m free from hunting encounters during the season. In terms of the provisions on lead ammo regulation, it’s impossible not to view at least some of these interests dubiously. I’ve read hunting blog posts in the past, defending lead ammunition and suggesting it does not have the deleterious effects on eagles and condors that have been scientifically established with condors in particular. In my research so far on the this particular bill, I have yet to find a hunting blog or sportsmen’s forum that’s advocating for restraint on these matters, speaking out against the polar bear or lead-ammo provisions.
The highly organized interests of these groups are making calls and sending emails — an effort those of us who oppose this bill need to match in comparable numbers. When it comes to forms of wildlife “recreation” in the U.S., hunters are a minority — but they are a vocal and organized minority. It was strong pressure from hunters and anglers that killed efforts to oust Daniel Richards (California Fish and Game Commission President) after his controversial mountain lion hunt.
Here is the full text: Text of H.R. 4089. And below is the action-alert from Wayne Pacelle at HSUS. From there, you can link to an online letter form to register your opposition.
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