Feed on

HR 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act,  passed the US House of Representatives on April 17th and has been sent to the Senate.  This bill is a compilation of four other bills–HR 991, HR 1558, HR 2834 and HR 3440.  If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill could have significant adverse impacts on wildlife and wildlands:


(1)  It would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow importation of polar bears previously killed as trophies.


(2)  It would remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to ban the use of lead shot.  Lead poisoning is a significant cause of mortality of scavenging birds such as vultures, hawks and eagles as well as upland game birds.


(3)  Most significant for the survival of cougars, it could open national parks and national monuments to hunting.  Further, it would facilitate building of roads, and allow the use of ATVs and snowmobiles as well as logging, drilling and mining in federal wilderness areas


Cougars are increasingly beleaguered as state wildlife agencies increase quotas in response to the demands of ranchers and some hunters.   National parks and monuments are cougar sanctuaries and offer the best potential reintroduction sites in the East.


Hunting is allowed in national forest wilderness areas, but use of motorized vehicles is prohibited.   Because they are more difficult for hunters to access, wilderness areas offer limited protection to cougars.  HR 4089 could authorize the use of motorized vehicles under the guise of improving hunting.  But many hunters appreciate the challenge of hunting in designated wilderness areas.


What can you do?  Contact your US senators by phone, email or postage mail.  Let them know that you oppose HR  4089.

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