A "Polar Bear Protection Act" rider, offered by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), was adopted yesterday by the Senate Appropriations Committee to the Interior appropriations bill.
This appropriations rider would prohibit the use of federal funds to issue permits for the importation of trophies of polar bears legally taken from healthy populations in Canada. Stand-alone bills H.R. 2327 and S.R. 1406 would do the same thing. Sportsmen’s groups have sent a letter to Congress urging them to consider the facts and not support this bill on its emotional appeal. While few hunters ever have the opportunity to pursue polar bears, all sportsmen must have their voices heard in this critical matter because this is simply one more step in the anti-hunting lobby's effort to incrementally ban all hunting. If they are allowed to prevail regarding the emotional ban on polar bear imports, they will move on to more commonly hunted game.
Also, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) included a provision in the Interior appropriations bill that will result in the overturning of current law and assure the extermination hundreds of healthy elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of California. Siding with environmental extremists, Feinstein claims that the Kaibab deer and Roosevelt elk on Santa Rosa Island are destroying natural vegetation and thus, should be indiscriminately exterminated. The Feinstein-sponsored provision would repeal language offered by Representative Duncun Hunter (R-CA) that was enacted into law last year.
Santa Rosa Roosevelt elk and Kaibab mule deer are unique and invaluable, as they are free from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and other ailments that threaten the 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.
The NRA, Safari Club International, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and other sportsmen organizations are fighting these provisions as they make their way through Congress. Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose theses provisions.
Because the Interior appropriations bill will be considered in the House on Tuesday and Wednesday, it is critical that you also call your U.S. Representative immediately, and urge him or her to oppose any amendment imposing restrictions on the importation of polar bear trophies or any measure that would result in the extermination of Kaibab deer and Roosevelt elk on Santa Rosa Island.
For contact information for your elected officials, you can use the "Write Your Representatives" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224 3121, and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.