By Soren Nelson, Pacific Southwest States Coordinator
On August 2, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined a broad coalition of sportsmen’s conservation organizations in opposing California Senate Bill 1487, which would ban the importation of certain legally harvested African species.
Introduced earlier this year by Senator Henry Stern, S. 1487 (also known as the Iconic African Species Protection Act) would prohibit the possession of the body or any part or product derived from the body of the African elephant, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, African lion, leopard, giraffe, Jentink’s duiker, plains zebra, mountain zebra, hippopotamus, and striped hyena. Senate and Assembly analyses place the bill’s price tag in the millions. As a result, the bill was moved to the Suspense File by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 8, pending further review of its fiscal impact.
As the coalition noted in the letter sent to the committee, revenue generated by licensed, regulated safari hunting is the single most important source of funding for conservation and anti-poaching efforts in Africa. In many Southern and Eastern African countries, revenues generated from licensed, regulated hunting are the primary source of management, conservation, and anti-poaching funds for national wildlife authorities. These hunting programs have been designed by experts to allow a limited, sustainable offtake, and to generate funds for conservation, anti-poaching, and community incentives. For more information, please refer to CSF’s trophy importation ban issue brief.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?