Help Protect Wildlife and Public Lands
On July 10, the Senate failed to secure the required 60 votes for passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. This bill, opposed by the Animal Welfare Institute and countless other animal protection and conservation groups, would have had substantial and direct adverse impacts on wildlife, public health, and existing conservation efforts by weakening protections offered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Toxic Substances Control Act, and would interfere with the authority of federal agencies responsible for managing natural resources.
“AWI is gratified by the failure of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in the Senate,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI. “AWI commends those senators who stood strong against this ill-conceived legislation.”
Your help is urgently needed to protect wildlife. The Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 (S. 2363), an attack on our nation's wild animals and habitat, has been introduced in the Senate and could be considered in the near future. If enacted, S. 2363 will have substantial and direct adverse impacts on wildlife, public health, and existing conservation efforts. This bill would weaken protections offered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Toxic Substances Control Act, and would interfere with the authority of federal agencies responsible for managing natural resources. Included in the bill's language are provisions that would:
- Eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency's authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate hazardous substances—including lead, a dangerous neurotoxin—released by ammunition and sport fishing waste.
- Expand hunting and fishing on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, including designated wilderness areas, by creating a presumption that these public lands are open to these consumptive uses unless explicitly closed.
- Amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to permit importation of polar bear carcasses taken before the species was listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in 2008—including those taken despite multiple warnings of an imminent ban on imports.
This legislation, if enacted, will interfere with important statutory protections affecting animal welfare, human health, and the environment. Similar legislation known as the Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act of 2013 (H.R. 3590), or "SHARE Act," has already passed the House, so it is critical that we stop this legislation in the Senate. Please join us in opposing S. 2363.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please contact your senators by phone, email, or fax and tell them to oppose S. 2363 and related bills that would threaten wildlife and habitat.
As one of your constituents, I urge you to help protect human health, wildlife and public lands by voting against S. 2363. This legislation, if passed, will undermine provisions of existing conservation statutes including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. It will also interfere with the exercise of authority by federal agencies responsible for managing federal lands and protecting public health. Please oppose S. 2363, and help protect wildlife, habitat and the public.
Please be sure to share our Dear Humanitarian eAlert with family, friends, and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their senators, too. As always, thank you very much for your help!