The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to consider the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012, which would have some seriously dire consequences for wildlife, the environment and people.
The proposed legislation, H.R. 4089, combines several completely insane measures into one bill affecting three major areas including hunting on public lands, lead ammunition and polar bears.
Public Land Use
H.R. 4089 would require the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior to open almost all public lands, including national parks (which is currently mostly prohibited), to recreational hunting and allow this to happen with no environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act. Not only does this open up even more land for hunting, including long protected lands, but it conflicts with the interests of groups who use public lands for other recreational activities and unfairly benefits hunters.
“Each year, 3,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunters because the EPA has refused to regulate toxic lead hunting ammunition. That lead poisons bald eagles, severely endangered condors and majestic trumpeter swans, which die painful deaths. Hunting with lead ammo also risks the health of humans (especially children) when they ingest tiny lead fragments in shot game,” according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
There is currently a push by environmental groups to have lead ammunition replaced with non-toxic alternatives. H.R. 4089 would bar the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate the manufacturing or sale of lead ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
H.R. 4089 would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to allow trophy hunters to import polar bear trophies from Canada into the U.S. for bears that were killed before 2008, when they were covered under the Endangered Species Act. Sports hunting of polar bears is prohibited under the MMPA in the U.S., as is importing other marine mammals. This law should not be changed just to benefit or encourage trophy hunters.
Please sign and share the petition asking Congress to oppose H.R. 4809 and ensure that decisions affecting wildlife and the environment are based solely on science.
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