September 25, 2012
Senate Punts Polar Bear Carcass Bill Decision Past General Election
By Chad Love
A bill that would, among other things, allow the importation of polar bear trophies into the United States is getting the US Senate a bit, well, bearish themselves.
From this story on yahoonews.com:
On its last day in session before the election, the Senate tied itself in knots over 41 polar bear carcasses that hunters want to bring home from Canada as big game trophies. After punting tough decisions on far weightier issues like raising taxes and cutting spending, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., insisted that the Senate address the wide-ranging sportsmen's bill before voting on must-pass legislation to prevent the government from shutting down at the end of next week.
According to the story, the bill's polar bear provision would allow 41 hunters who killed polar bears in Canada, just before a 2008 ban on polar bear trophy imports took effect, to bring the bears across the border. The hunters involved were not able to bring the trophies home before the Fish and Wildlife Services listed them as a threatened species.
Some of the bill's other provisions include allowing more hunting and fishing on federal lands, letting bow hunters cross federal land where hunting isn't allowed, encouraging federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges, and excluding ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead.
Republicans didn't want to vote for the bill because it would allegedly benefit the re-election campaign of Montana Senator Jon Tester, who is one of the bill's sponsors. In the end, the Senate voted to...take up the bill after the election. Thoughts? Reaction?