SCI pushes for polar bear resolution

aabigpolarPolar bears are back in the news this week.

Safari Club International has submitted testimony in support of H.R. 1818 — the Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2013, introduced by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) — for a hearing held today by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 2463), introduced by Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) was also part of today’s hearing, and SCI signed a letter supporting its passage as well along with 29 other conservation organizations. 

“SCI would like to thank Congressmen Young, Walz, and Hunter for their combined efforts to pass H.R. 1818 and H.R. 2463,” said SCI President Craig Kauffman. “Sportsmen and women – America’s first conservationists – have supported both of these bills in previous congresses. We hope to see progress on both important bills soon as they move through the committee process.”

H.R. 2463 would allow states to use the excise taxes already collected on sporting equipment and ammunition to develop and maintain much-needed public shooting ranges, while also resulting in increased wildlife conservation funding.

H.R. 1818 would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to authorize the importation of legally-hunted polar bears from Canada, taken prior to May 15, 2008. These already harvested bears provide no conservation value sitting in cold-storage warehouses in Canada. By allowing these bears into the U.S., up to $41,000 would be raised (under MMPA Section 104(c)(5)(B)) to support conservation and research activities for the U.S.-Russia polar bear population.

“Both H.R. 2463 and H.R. 1818 have received bi-partisan support in previous congresses and we expect the same in the 113th Congress,” concluded SCI President Craig Kauffman.

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