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President Bush Signs Bill to <br> Save Santa Rosa Deer and Elk

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fairfax, VA – President George W. Bush signed the National Rifle Association (NRA)-supported 2007 Defense Authorization Act saving hundreds of elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island from the court-ordered extermination that was to begin in 2008 and be completed by 2011.

NRA-ILA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox stated, “Once again, Rep. Lois Capps and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were on the wrong side of the argument in attempting to keep the Santa Rosa provision out of the Act, thereby trying to stop a long-standing hunting tradition and worst of all, to exterminate hundreds of healthy elk and mule deer – for no good reason.”

Despite the fact that the Roosevelt elk and Kaibab mule deer have inhabited Santa Rosa Island for nearly a century, the National Park Service and environmental groups sought to exterminate them in favor of few plant and animal species on the island. Common sense prevailed with the adoption of this herd-saving provision.

Santa Rosa elk and mule deer are unique and invaluable, as they are free from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and other ailments that threaten these species on the mainland. Forty miles of Pacific Ocean offer them a sanctuary from disease. The healthy and thriving herds can be used as breeding stock to repopulate in case of disaster on the mainland.

Cox concluded, “NRA-ILA would also like to thank the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Safari Club International, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, as through our joint effort, Congress correctly determined it is in the public interest to maintain this disease-free sanctuary for these two remarkable species of animals.  We thank President Bush for signing this bill, and protecting the elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island.”

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Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group.  Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime.  The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.