Safari Club International opposes an anti-hunting bill that, if it became law, would end hunting of grizzly bears in the United States. A hearing has been scheduled for that bill this week.
In another long shot bid to restrict hunting, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has introduced H.R. 2532, the “Tribal Heritage & Grizzly Bear Protection Act,” to ban the killing of grizzly bears unless “imminently necessary for self-defense or to save the life of a person in immediate danger.”
The bill is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in the Water, Oceans & Wildlife Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Rep. Grijalva chairs the full committee.
While H.R. 2532 aims to protect grizzlies and allow for more involvement of tribal governments, the bill is an undisguised effort to erode the ability of States to manage wildlife while attacking hunters and dismissing their easily verifiable contributions to grizzly bear recovery.
In particular, the recovery of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear population is an impressive success story. There has been a 400 percent increase in the number of Yellowstone grizzlies since the species was first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. As a result, the Fish & Wildlife Service proposed delisting the population in March of 2016—a moved blocked by a federal judge in 2018.
Since 2007, SCI has defended the Service’s attempts to delist the grizzly bear population and argued in favor of hunting as a viable tool for managing grizzly populations. SCI also strongly supports legislative efforts to defend grizzly hunts.
Last week, during its annual Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, SCI members advocated support for two bills asking the Department of Interior to reissue previous grizzly bear delisting orders. The bills, H.R. 1445 and S. 614, both titled the “Grizzly Bear State Management Act of 2019” were introduced jointly by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in the House, and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the Senate earlier this year.
SCI believes that species recovery should lead to delisting and the restoration of state management authority. Regulated harvest should be a part of the management of recovered, delisted species. SCI supports the delisting of the grizzly bear and adamantly opposes H.R. 2532.