Speak Out Against Hunter Federal Land Grab in S.1996 and Ten Sister Bills
“The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.” Edward Abbey
Pending federal Senate Bill 1996, the “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Bill” (http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1996/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22S.1996+Bipartisan+sportsmen%27s+%22%5D%7D ) and its 10 deadly companion bills (http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1996/related-bills?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22S.1996+Bipartisan+sportsmen%27s+%22%5D%7D ) go beyond eviscerating the 1964 Wilderness Act, to take over most federal lands for violence. http://www.peopleforwesternheritage.com/WildernessActSum.pdf
The House version of the bill, H.R. 3590, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with all 227 Republicans and 41 Democrats ( 268 total), voting for, including Ron Kind, Wisconsin Democrat, co-sponsoring the bill. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan were among 154 Democrats voting against.
An 8-year process culminated in Lyndon Johnson signing the Wilderness Act into law on September 3, 1964. A rare visionary bill, it passed the house and senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Lyrically written, the first sentence gives the abstract:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
The definition: “an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation…use in an unimpaired condition; and (3) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.”
Enter the shoot ‘em up crowd. Self-serving, it is not enough they control state lands, and have gutted former wildlife refuge systems, as wildlife ecosystems crash across this country. This entitled 5% also want the pristine intact life system remnants, set aside for quiet reflection for the 95% of us who do not kill anybody.They are used to dominating and they want.They want.
It also passed the house and then died in the senate. But this is an election year and even progressive Democrats are getting heavy pressure from top leadership to pass this to please the NRA.
Bill S.1996 and its ten companion bills expand to all federal lands, with few exceptions, (over 630 million acres) what was done to our Wisconsin state lands:
- Where the standard is now closed land, this bill makes them all open (to killing and disruption) unless federal wildlife agencies find a “reason” (never good enough) to close them.
The bill: “Land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service (including a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System), land designated as a wilderness study area or administratively classified as wilderness eligible or suitable, and primitive or semi-primitive areas…shall be open to recreational fishing, hunting and recreational shooting unless the managing Federal public land agency acts to close the land to the activity.”
- Facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges, archery, rifle, pistol, or shotgun shooting. (It protects the government from any liability for injuries to citizens from the shooting ranges.)
- Includes killing “waterfowl, coots, and cranes over manipulated food plots, including mowing, shredding, discing, rolling, chopping, trampling, flattening, burning, or carrying out herbicide treatment.”
- Polar bear “trophies” from Canada could now be imported into the US, encouraging hunting this imperiled species.
- The Environmental Protection Agency would be barred from regulating lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers. Lead is a neurotoxin we’ve eliminated from gasoline, paint, and toys. But 6,000,000 pounds per year of lead shot and bullets are fired into the wild and 8,000,000 pounds from fishing tackle are lost in ponds and streams. Eagles, condors, owls, and hawks ingest spent lead fragments when feeding on animals that were shot.
- If hunting is prohibited, volunteer sharpshooters can be used.
- Every year the agencies must explain why any lands are closed to hunting.
Federal funds are to be dispersed by a 28-member panel, appointed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to facilitate access to these formerly pristine wilderness areas. Twenty-five million dollars in taxpayer funds, allotted annually (2014-2019) “subject to the condition that the amounts are used for the purposes that further the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants, and other natural resources in accordance with this Act.” “Conservation” as used here is a euphemism for “killing.”
So much for “untrammeled by man”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xBeYyc-lR0
Contact Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) @ (202) 224-5653 and Senator Ron Johnson (R) @ (202) 224-5323. This bill (don’t forget the 10 deadly sister bills) will hit the senate floor any day and only intense public pressure can stop it. The vote is imminent. Take nothing for granted.
“If true wilderness is ever to survive, the Wilderness Act of 1964 needs to be held inviolate. It cannot be adjusted, modified, tweaked, politicized, and adulterated for every whim of a special interest group or congressional rep who wants his legacy enhanced.” ~ William L. Rice
Citizens have the opportunity to stand for wolves, coyotes, and bears and for the dogs used against them, March 28-29, 2014 at the Bear Hunters’ Annual meeting at the Patriot Center in Rothschild, WI. Sponsored by the Wolf Front, details at www.wiwildlifeethic.org