NorEast Fishing Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Premium Member
67,033 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Washington, D.C. ? A coalition of groups representing sportsmen, banded together today to defend polar bear hunting before a politically-charged hearing in the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Safari Club International, the Congressional Sportsmen?s Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and other groups (full list below) submitted a letter to committee members to outline the facts of the polar bear debate.

?This hearing may be a purely political exercise intended to bash the Administration,? said SCI President Dennis Anderson, ?but it?s still an opportunity to educate the Members of this important committee that a ban on polar bear importation is bad policy.?

Excerpts from the letter follow here:

?An import ban would harm polar bear conservation and management in Canada and would do nothing to reduce the number of polar bears harvested in Canada. A ban on polar bear imports from Canada has no foundation in science or good policy.

(A) ban would not decrease polar bear mortality from hunting. The native holders of tags not used by U.S. hunters would simply use them to harvest polar bears for subsistence purposes. In other words, the annual ?quota? the Canadian provincial governments create determines the number of polar bears harvested each year, regardless of whether some are sport hunted or all are taken in subsistence hunts. Because these quotas are set at sustainable levels, the U.S. and Canadian governments repeatedly have determined that properly regulated subsistence and sport hunting are not a threat to the polar bear populations.

In addition, sport hunting by U.S. hunters supports polar bear conservation in a number of ways. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), each import permit includes a $1,000 fee to support polar bear research and conservation in the United States and Russia. This has resulted in close to $1,000,000 in funds for research and conservation since 1994. The $30,000-50,000 U.S. hunters pay per hunt benefit the native communities (in the amount of approximately $2,500,000 per year), encouraging conservation by the local communities and the provincial governments. In fact, the Nunavut government in Canada spends about $1,000,000 per year on polar bear research and management.

Sport hunting also helps promote sound scientific management of polar bears. Under the MMPA, the U.S. government allows imports of polar bears only from populations scientifically proven to be well-managed and sustainable. The requirement further encourages the Canadian governments to manage (e.g., set harvest quotas for) the polar bear in a sustainable manner. This management scheme has contributed to the rebound of overall population from roughly estimated numbers around 6,000-8,000 in the 1960s and 1970s to estimated numbers around 20,000-25,000 today.

In short, an import ban arising from an ESA/MMPA listing will not reduce polar bear mortality in Canada, will harm current successful polar bear conservation and management, and will harm cash-strapped native communities in Canada. For all these reasons, the undersigned sporting and conservation groups oppose a polar bear import ban.


Archery Trade Association
Boone & Crockett Club
Bowhunters Preservation Alliance
Campfire Club of America
Congressional Sportsmen?s Foundation
Conservation Force
Dallas Safari Club
Houston Safari Club
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Bear Foundation
Pope & Young Club
Quality Deer Management Association
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
The Wild Sheep Foundation
Texas Wildlife Association
U.S. Sportsmen?s Alliance
Wildlife Management Institute
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.