Wolves, Bears, and Other Imperiled Wildlife in Crosshairs of Bill Set for Action in U.S. House Today

By on February 25, 2016 with 19 Comments

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives takes up a bill that amounts to a grab bag of destructive measures related to trophy hunting, predator killing, and wildlife poisoning under the innocuous-sounding name of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2406). It’s critical that you contact your U.S. House member this morning (you can call the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121 and be connected with the office of your U.S. Representative) and urge him or her to oppose this bill and any ugly provisions or amendments that would remove federal protections for wolves, expand the use of trapping on lands managed by the federal government, block efforts to restrict the use of toxic lead ammunition, block U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to stop the global ivory trade, and address overzealous and cruel predator killing programs in our National Wildlife Refuges. Each one of these provisions warrants opposition to the bill, and to assemble them all in one package makes this a must-defeat measure.

It is imperative that lawmakers hear from you this morning or by early afternoon.  Here are some provisions coming up in this bill.

  • An amendment from Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin would subvert two federal court rulings and cherry-pick gray wolves for removal from the federal list of endangered species for purely political reasons. When wolves were delisted in 2012, 20 percent of their Wisconsin population was wiped out in just one hunting season, including 17 entire family units. In a three-year period, more than 1,500 wolves were killed in the Great Lakes states alone. The federal courts put a stop to this reckless mistreatment and slaughter of wolves, and politicians shouldn’t undercut judicial review of delisting actions. We are urging House members to oppose the Ribble amendment, since it would lead to the slaughter of more than 1,000 wolves in the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, many with baiting, hound hunting, and painful leghold traps.
  • An amendment by Rep. Don Young of Alaska seeks to block an Obama Administration proposed rule to stop the worst predator control and killing practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Brown bear baiting, aerial gunning, and other forms of slaughtering our nation’s top carnivores should not happen anywhere, but least of all on federal lands designated as national wildlife refuges. Alaska doesn’t own the refuges – all Americans do – and what a travesty to allow these lands set aside for wildlife to become a playground for the most extreme and inhumane trophy hunters and trappers. We are urging House members to oppose this amendment, which undercuts the work of professional wildlife managers in Alaska to halt these practices on this category of federal lands.
  • A provision already exists within this bill to block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from making final a rulemaking to close loopholes and better crack down on the illegal ivory trade that fuels catastrophic elephant poaching. Elephants are in crisis and the United States is the second largest retail market for ivory, and we know that terrorist groups in Africa finance the killing of civilians and their attacks on governments by killing elephants and selling the ivory so they can buy guns and other weapons.
  • The bill has a provision to bar any bureau, service, or office of the Department of Interior or Department of Agriculture from further efforts to protect the public, wildlife, and environment from toxic lead ammunition. This seeks to block federal wildlife managers from making biologically sound decisions, and flies in the face of the rhetoric to conduct science-based management. Lead poisoning kills 15 to 20 million wild animals every year (and poses a risk for hunting families too, since the meat from animals shot and cooked for the table can contain tiny lead shards). Such haphazard poisoning of our wildlife can be avoided if sport hunters switch to widely available non-toxic ammunition, such as steel, copper, and bismuth. Now that we’ve seen how inaction from government in Flint, Michigan, caused lead poisoning in people, do we really want to stop our federal agencies from cracking down on the biggest source of lead released into the environment and waterways?
  • One provision already in the bill would give commercial and recreational trappers priority access to the more than 100 million acres of pristine wilderness areas across the nation. This provision weakens the landmark Wilderness Act that Congress established a half century ago, to preserve wild areas “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Steel-jawed leghold traps are cruel and indiscriminate, acting as landmines for wildlife and catching whatever hapless creatures step into the vise grip of the devices.
  • Another provision of the bill would roll back the Marine Mammal Protection Act and provide a sweetheart deal to help 41 wealthy polar bear trophy hunters import the heads of rare polar bears they shot in Canada. It’s one thing to shoot a deer and eat the meat, and it’s another to fly up to the Arctic Circle, drop $40,000 on a guided trophy hunt, and shoot a threatened species – all for the head and the hide and the bragging rights that go along with it. It’s just the latest in a series of these import allowances for polar bear hunters, and it encourages trophy hunters to kill rare species around the world and then wait for a congressional waiver to bring back their trophies.

There’s not one regular deer or duck hunter who gets anything out of this bill. Any lawmaker who claims he’s for sportsmen by supporting this bill is guilty of grandstanding, and voters will sniff out this kind of trickery and political bait-and-switch maneuvering. It’s hard to believe there can be so much that is bad in a single bill, but with the provisions already in it, and the prospects of the Ribble and Young amendments making its impact even worse, this is the most destructive anti-wildlife proposal ever to come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Please call your House members today.

If Congress exhibits the worst of judgment and caves in to the trophy-hunting lobby by passing this scam of a bill, we’ll call upon President Obama to give it a clean kill shot.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Michelle Metzler says:

    A grab bag of destructive practices grouped under a misleading name.

  2. vibeke hansen says:

    danich : Jeg syntes mennesker ( ikke alle ), har en dårlig modbydelighed over for andet liv end dem selv, :-((((—- VI har brug for naturens dyreliv, det hele hænger sammen, der er op-gang-der er ned-gang her, og alt klarer sig selv, uden at udrydde de dejlige ulve-og andet dyreliv— de mennesker der ikke kan holde naturen ud, må blive i byen, og dem der elsker at omgås de smukke dyr, kan flytte ud til dem, og forbud at jægerne kan skyde løs på dem, ny lov her. —- Disse hjerteløse menneske-dræber, skulle finde et andet sted at bo, vores dyreliv er en smuk gave-naturen lige så, — FÆLDER og gift mod dem, kan gøre mig tosset + mere gal, hvorfor denne modbydeligehed fra mennesker ????— ny lov-og straf dem, de dyr er liv som os!!!!!!!!—–NU er nok-NOK, ikke mere modbydeligheds ondskab fra menneskerne, der skal gørtes noget, NU.

  3. KIKUE NISHIO says:


  4. Tressa Marie says:

    Please oppose the Ribble amendment, since it would lead to the slaughter of more than 1,000 wolves by the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This is an unnecessary and barbaric holocaust of innocent animals.

  5. Gail Patak says:

    Just called my Rep. and left a message of opposition. Very easy to do!! I’m in Jacksonville, Fl. If you live in this area, phone Rep. Crenshaw at 202-225-2501. So, so important!! Make our voices heard.

  6. Sherri Ann Lawrence says:

    Please Help Save The Wolves and other Animals we need to Stop People killing Wolves.

  7. karen begovich says:

    This as barbaric. They are killing are animals and creating rules and laws that are destroying our wildlife. We have vicious people in Congress who want to pass new laws that should never have been suggested in the first place. They should be protecting the animals not helping to exterminate them. This bill sounds like a nightmare.

  8. JSHUNTER says:

    With all due respect folks: Unless you are a 100% vegetarian or vegan, you eat animal matter in some form. That means you kill animals by proxy; that is, someone else kills, processes, packages, and possibly prepares the meat for you. That’s OK though, humans are omnivores; we are genetically and physiologically predisposed to consume plant and animal matter for sustenance. According to the Vegetarian Times, slightly over 3% of U.S. adults are vegetarians; that means about 97% of U.S. adults eat meat. In addition to those numbers, nymag.com posted this article: “84 Percent of Vegetarians Go Back to Eating Meat”.

    Instead of blindly jumping on the anti-hunting bandwagon, how about doing some real research into the good that hunting and hunters have done for wildlife conservation and wildlife management. Hunters are merely adding to their healthy organic diet via the activity of hunting; hunters are not barbarians as some of you suggest. You either get your meat from grocery stores, restaurants, or through the activity of hunting. Any method of providing meat as a food source results from the harvesting/killing of an animal. Please stop being so critical of the hunting community, we are good people that are deeply involved in wildlife conservation efforts and promote wildlife management through sound and unbiased science. If you have been led to believe otherwise, you have been misled and are a likely a victim of emotionally-based propaganda.

    The “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” (SHARE Act), H.R. 2406 is a good bill and is long overdue.

    • Lane says:

      Well said!
      Hunters are the largest conservationist and care more about animals than anyone else.

    • Rachel says:

      From eastern WA St., I thank you, JSHUNTER, for leaving a cool, reasonable and truthful comment.

    • EARTHING says:

      This bill destructive is a grab bag for trophy hunters, commercial trappers, ammunition makers, ivory traders, and other special interests. We must do everything in our power to block this appalling bill in the Senate, and if not there, in the White House. I provided links for the roll call votes (so you can see how your lawmaker came down on the big wildlife issues being decided at the federal level) to delist wolves, allow aerial gunning of grizzly bears in Alaska on wildlife refuges, allow deer hunting with dogs in a major national forest, allow imports of trophies from threatened polar bears, and on the broader bill, which also seeks to block President Obama’s rule to stop the ivory trade.

      The bill amounts to an assault on wildlife, seeking to BLOCK Federal Action Against the Ivory Trade or the use of toxic lead ammunition and to enable imports of Polar Bear and Elephant trophies. ON TOP OF THAT, there will be AMENDMENTS offered to REMOVE FDERAL PROTECTION for WOLVES and to block federal action to stop appallingly cruel and unsporting wolf and GRIZZLY BEARS killing practices on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. OMG!

      • Anti-Fur Society says:

        Very well said, Earthing! Thank you for your comment and with your permission I’ll post it on my FB Anti-Fur Society page. I’ve been working a lot against this despicable bill.

    • EARTHLING says:

      The article mentioned: nymag.com posted this article: “84 Percent of Vegetarians Go Back to Eating Meat” was in 2014 and means very little. The study group of a little over 10,000 only means that out of that 1000 may have ate flesh once a month. I know many vegans that are not straight edge and may eat cheese or fish on very occasions much like Pres. Bill Clinton did. Yet most are pretty straight edge Vegans. I was vegetarian for 19 years before going Vegan now for 9 years. Had I known about how vile the dairy & egg industries were I would have gone Vegan some decades ago.
      The issue is NOT about whether one is vegan/vegetarian yet the facts that are related to the SLAUGHTERING OF WILDLIFE. I have been to the so called “harvest” BS as you call it of bears and seen the Moms that were murdered and their milk still dripping from lactating. The cubs most likely died too. I have seen the traps that cause much pain & suffering too. I have seen the laughter of hunters as they hear the cries of the animals before they died. I have seen animals ripped apart by dogs while again the so called hunters laugh at the misery they cause. I have even seen the dogs get hurt and hunters just leaving them behind. Trophy Hunters are NOT about “FOOD,” any more than the slaughters of our endangered Polar Bears. It’s about the ego game to murder great animals for POWER TRIPS.
      In closing, according to the Vegetarian Time the study was in 2008 some FIVE years ago and MUCH has changed in 5 years. The study also indicates that of the non-vegetarians surveyed 5.2 percent, or 11.9 million people, are “definitely interested” in following a vegetarian-based diet in the future. Facts in this matter is this post by Vegan Wayne Pacelle is SPOT in point on every issue regarding just how DESTRUCTIVE this so called bill actually is. It is now stalled in the Senate and REAL animal lovers know exactly why that is also. You must really HATE animals to want such a bill to pass or point blank did NOT comprehend the magnitude of the bills destruction. Shame on any hunter that claims to give a crap about animals to even consider such a bill. It’s DISGUSTING!

      • Anti-Fur Society says:

        This is the excuse that’s still used regularly by the fur trade. Many animal rights groups adhered to this conception without a thought about the harm they are causing to all other species. Nobody are born a saint and in an ancient culture of meat and dairy, a lot of people have trouble in going vegan overnight. That, however, does NOT mean they individuals who still consume meat/dairy cannot be effective in other animal issues, and is obligated to embrace all other animal exploitation in the world. People will evolve at their own pace and as little consideration as animals have in the scheme of things, we have to be grateful for any advances made towards protecting animals.

  9. sohbet says:

    So good post 🙂 thank you sohbet

  10. cindy moores says:

    Is this still an issue. Is there something that needs to still be done?

  11. Sally Palmer says:

    Obviously, “Mr. Hunter”, you didn’t read the blog, nor, obviously, did you plan to read it. It clearly states that no hunter who is a true conservationist would support this Act that turns our wildlife refuges into shooting galleries. I have a lot of hunters in my family, and none of them would ever consider the hunting allowed through this anything but a reason to wreak death and destruction for the sick pleasure of it. The only people who consider this Act long overdue are those who want to destroy our wildlife and our land with no one to stop them from such heinous behavior.

  12. Jennifer Simeo says:

    Most hunters who tell you they are “conservationists” are lying. In fact, they proudly plunder the conservation work funded by the non-consumptive public. A perfect example was the 2015 Florida bear hunt. The Florida Wildlife Services delisted their biologically unique bear after 20 years of protection. Hunters lined up in droves to buy a tag. The hunter run agency actually sold more tags then there were bears (over 3000) and, in a 2 day slaughter, hunters killed 10% of the population, leaving many orphaned cubs and broken families in the wake. They call themselves “conservationists” while conducting cruel and irrational wildlife killing contests, with the winner being the one who kills the most. The fact is, the non-consumptive public funds 94% of all conservation work in this country through bonds, excise taxes (oh yes, hunters will lie and tell you only they pay these!), Federal taxes, private donations, and fees to parks, etc. for wildlife watching, as watchers are far more valuable than a hunter any day. They call themselves conservationists while trying to keep lead bullets legal (which contaminate our water and kills unintended wildlife). They support organizations like Safari Club International who glorify the killing of threatened and endangered species. They don’t care about fair chase. They use GPS, bait, cruel traps, and dogs to get their trophy, all while reveling in their kills. This is not conservation. This is not hunting for need. This is State-sponsored psychopathology. We are facing the extinction of too many species to let this madness continue.

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