According to a release that appeared on-line on 7/15:
Washington, DC: Sponsors of H.R. 1472, the "Don't Feed the
Bears" legislation that would prohibit the practice of regulated use of bait
in hunting bears on federal public lands, withdrew the legislation from
consideration by the House Resources Committee today. The withdrawal of the
bill was a victory for sportsmen, led by the Congressional Sportsmen's
Foundation, the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies,
SCI- SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL, and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, who have
worked against the legislation because of the implications to state-based
wildlife management. Sponsors of the bill may look to amend another bill on
the House floor with H.R. 1472, but CSF and its partners will work against
After the bill was pulled, Caucus members on the
committee, Reps. Don Young (R-AK), Ron Kind (D-WI), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), and
Barbara Cubin (R-WY), spoke in opposition to the bill stating their strong
concerns about the precedent it would set for wildlife management. The
Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus worked to defeat this legislation through
Dear Colleague letters and targeted meetings with committee members.
"The Don't Feed the Bears Act is an affront to state's
rights [Editor’s note: States obviously need to be controlled by referenda,
federal law or municipalities’ local laws], contrary to sound wildlife
management practices, [Editor’s note: Is that the sound of firearms?] and an
insult to law abiding sportsmen across the country," [Editor’s note:
Wildlife killers deserve to be insulted and prevented from exercising their
perversity through changes in the law.] stated Congressman Richard Pombo,
Chairman of the House Resources Committee and a member of the Congressional
Sportsmen's Caucus. "These constituencies have spoken and Congress is
listening, but we must continue to guard against measures in the future that
would seek to undermine our rights."
The following letter is proposed by NJARA – New Jersey
Animal Rights Alliance – Change language where appropriate.
Governor James McGreevey
State House PO Box 001
Trenton NJ 08625
ph: 609-292-6000; fax: 609-292-3454
Dear Governor McGreevey,
I am a registered voter in New Jersey who is appalled to
learn that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council overturned a 33-year
moratorium on hunting black bears in our state. This decision reflects the
interests of the Council and the NJ Federation of Sportsmen (hunters)--not
the majority of residents who wish to see you uphold your campaign promise
to protect the bears.
Please act now on behalf of your constituents who do not
support the recreational slaughter of animals. I urge you to use your power
of pardon, as stated in Article V, Section II of the NJ Constitution: "The
Governor may grant pardons and reprieves in all cases other than impeachment
and treason, and may suspend and remit fines and forfeitures."
The vote to initiate a black bear hunt is clearly a
maneuver to placate hunters. Human safety concerns are not an issue, with
barely a handful of bear attacks over the past decade despite the steady
encroachment of humans into bear habitat.
Even if human-bear conflicts were a threat, a more ethical
solution would be to educate people in how to avoid habituating bears to
humans. A hunt will not stop people from feeding bears or letting them raid
garbage cans. In fact, a bear hunt tracks non-nuisance animals situated far
from human development. Aversive conditioning--in which trained police and
animal control officers condition bears to shun humans--is a far more
responsible means to safeguard humans.
I call upon you to use your power of pardon to overturn
the recently approved game code that permits a bear hunt. In addition,
please implement your authority of Executive Order to establish a non-lethal
black bear management task force that reflects the greater interests of your
constituents. The Council and Federation will always advocate hunting. But
many more New Jersey voters and potential tourists oppose the violence and
death central to this blood sport.
I will certainly consider your efforts to protect our
bears when I cast my vote (and encourage my friends to vote) during the next
gubernatorial election. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.
WHY WE NEED LOHV – LEAGUE OF HUMANE VOTERS – Please see
Animal Rights and Effective Political Action in this issue.