June 5, 2014

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Request Reexamination of Sport Hunting Policy

On May 27, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Representative Bob Latta and CSC members Representatives Don Young and Adam Kinzinger sent a “Dear Colleague” letter requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rescind its suspension of sport-hunted elephant importations from Tanzania and Zimbabwe for calendar year 2014.

It is unclear whether this suspension was made using the best available science and therefore this letter requests that the USFWS rescind its policy until they have consulted with the Wildlife Management Authorities of Zimbabwe and Tanzania to obtain the best available science from the affected countries.

In their announcement, the USFWS even admits that the decision was influenced by “anecdotal evidence.” When the Service makes decisions that affect livelihoods and anti-poaching efforts, it is vital that the decisions are based on “the best available biological information derived from professionally accepted wildlife management practices,” rather than on anecdotes.

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?

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