Hunting Groups Oppose Polar Bear ‘Endangered’ Listing


Mar 11, 2001
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Hunting Groups Oppose Polar Bear ‘Endangered’ Listing


Washington, DC - Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, presented a sportsmen’s group letter during a Committee Hearing today that opposes the listing of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The letter was signed by twenty national hunting organizations, members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partnership (AWCP).

The sportsmen’s letter points out that, through sound conservation and management practices, the estimated polar bear population has rebounded to three times the level of the population in the 1960s and ‘70s. The letter concludes, “An import ban arising from an ESA/MMPA listing will not reduce polar bear mortality in Canada, will harm current successful polar bear conservation and management, and will harm cash-strapped native communities in Canada. For all these reasons, the undersigned sporting and conservation groups oppose a polar bear import ban.”

In his opening statement, Senator Inhofe said, “The fact that we have had two hearings on a single listing decision reinforces my belief that listing the polar bear is not about protecting the bear…….. I worry that we have spent, and will continue to spend, too much time and money examining a healthy species and manufacturing ways to predict its demise, when there are hundreds of species legitimately on the list that need these scarce department resources. ”

James J. Baker, Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation said, “The outdoors community came together today to address this threat to the heritage and traditions of hunting and the future of the polar bear. We applaud the AWCP for their continuing diligence on the future of North America’s largest predator.”

This is not the first time that the sportsmen’s community has asked leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to stand in opposition to animal rights efforts to ban the importation of legally hunted polar bear trophies. Last summer, the House of Representatives voted 242-188 against an amendment that attempted to withhold funds for the issuance of US import permits for sport-hunted polar bears from viable populations in Canada. Again in the fall, Sportsmen’s Caucus leaders saw to it that language that would have limited the importation of polar bear parts was removed from the ‘omnibus’ appropriations bill.

About the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF)
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is the most respected and trusted proponent for hunters and fishermen in the political arena. With support from every major hunting and fishing organization, CSF is the leader in promoting sportsmen's issues with elected officials. CSF works directly with the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in the U.S. Congress, as well as affiliated state sportsmen's caucuses in state legislatures around the country. For additional information, or call 202-543-6850.

Media Contact:
Alan Ellis (202) 543-6850 ext 19 or

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