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S. 659 Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016

This bill, under the guise of “Sportsmen”, is loaded with many anti-environmental provisions and is a mirror image of the SHARE Act which has passed in the House of Representatives. Polls indicate the majority of Americans (and Michigan voters) oppose these bills. If passed, the Bipartisan Sportsman’s Act would:

  • Prevent the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service from restricting the illegal ivory trade and send the message to the armed criminals who are decimating Africa’s last herds that the American market is still open for business.
  • Require Dept of Interior to issue permits to allow a hunter to import polar bear parts (other than internal organs) if the bear was legally harvested in Canada from an approved population before the May 15, 2008, listing of the polar bear as threatened.
  • Exempt components of firearms and ammunition and sport fishing equipment and its components (such as lead sinkers) from regulations of chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act posing significant health risks to humans and wildlife. Lead bullets represent a problem for anything that ingests them because they fragment into hundreds of tiny pieces when they strike an animal being shot. As a result, many scavengers and raptors, including eagles, die annually from toxic lead poisoning. Studies also suggest that lead fragments can be found in wild game meat processed for human consumption, even though best attempts are made in the field to remove sections that are within the bullet wound channel.
  • Guts existing Clean Water Act safeguards that protect our streams, rivers, and lakes from excessive pesticide pollution. It would allow the discharge of pesticides into water bodies without meaningful oversight, since the federal pesticide registration law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)) does not require tracking of such applications.
  • Prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from finalizing a rule that would prohibit certain unethical practices on Alaskan refuge lands, such as the use of traps or bait in bear hunting, hunting wolves and coyotes during denning season, and hunting bear cubs or bear sows with cubs.
  • Directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue two wolf delisting rules that federal courts held were illegal under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, the amendment blocks judicial review of the faulty federal rules, thus preventing citizens from challenging the delisting of wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Despite the exaggerated claims made, depredation by wolves remains low, especially when compared to other losses.

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