SCI – “In the Crosshairs” e-Newsletter October 11, 2013 – Brought to you by Williams & Williams Auctions


October 11, 2013

Government Shutdown and the American Hunter
Over the past two weeks since the U.S. Government shut down you will no doubt have heard that Federal public lands, such as National Wildlife Refuges and National Park Units are closed to the American public. These closures have taken a huge toll on the hunting community and have deprived hunters of valuable if not irreplaceable hunting access and opportunities during prime hunting season. The effect extends to professional hunters, guides and outfitters as well as to the business that depend on hunter traffic. Wildlife management, conservation and research efforts also suffer when hunters are deprived of access to federal lands. SCI is aggressively investigating ways to prevent the government shutdown from continuing to deprive our members of hunting of their important hunting opportunities.

In this current tense political climate, we are reminded that it is our state fish and game agencies that regulate and generally manage wildlife and hunting on public lands throughout their states, including on federal lands. As we search for legal remedies to assist our members, we encourage SCI members to be proactive and contact their state agencies to share their concerns and to work together to find methods to assist with the reopening of these federal lands. This crisis presents all of us with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that hunters can make positive contributions to the states’ efforts to reopen public lands and keep them open for hunting.

Be assured that SCI will continue to work towards finding a legal and politically feasible solution to this hunting crisis.
Update on Public Hearings on Wolves
As SCI previously reported, the US Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed to delist gray wolves in the majority of the lower 48 states and to make modifications to the rule concerning the Mexican wolf population. A hearing regarding the proposed delisting was held in Washington, DC on September 30th. SCI Litigation Associate, Jeremy Clare, testified on behalf of SCI in support of the delisting. Two additional public hearings, scheduled for October 2nd in Sacramento and October 4th in Albuquerque, were postponed due to the government shutdown. The FWS has announced that it will also hold an additional public hearing in Denver, Colorado on October 17th. If the shutdown continues through October 17th, that hearing will also be postponed.

Assuming the FWS holds further hearings at some point, SCI encourages its members to attend the hearings in full force, present oral statements, and provide written testimony. Click here for talking points on the proposed rule to delist in the lower 48 states. Click here for talking points on the proposed revision to the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf (likely only a rescheduled hearing in Albuquerque would address this rule).

For more information regarding the public hearings, you can view the FWS notices here (Sacramento), here (Denver) and here (Albuquerque).

SCI will provide further updates when the hearings are rescheduled.
Gov. Christie awarded the Chairman’s Leadership Award, the NFWF’s highest accolade

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and leading conservationist Louis Bacon were honored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) at its 10th annual “Celebrating the Great Outdoors” benefit September 28 in Connecticut.–Christie-and-Conservationist-Louis-Bacon-.aspx
U.S. Ivory Crush Canceled
In a bid to discourage poachers and wildlife traffickers, federal officials had planned to pulverize 6 tons of illegal elephant ivory this week, but the event has been canceled due to the lapse in government funding.

Supreme Court Denies Polar Bear Petition
On Monday, October 7, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to accept SCI’s petition asking the Court to overturn the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 listing of the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Supreme Court accepts only a very small percentage of the petitions it receives each session. For the time being, no more judicial avenues remain to overturn this unfortunate and counterproductive listing. The listing has led to a ban on the import of polar bear trophies from Canada by U.S. hunters. U.S. hunters’ contribution to polar bear conservation, including through funds provided to local native communities and governments, is lost as long as this listing remains in place.

Registration Now Open for SCI’s Annual Wildlife Law CLE Course
SCI attorneys (and attorney friends of SCI members) – take note! Registration is now open for “Current Issues in Domestic and International Wildlife and Hunting Law 2014. Believe it or not, this is our seventh year! SCI, with the co-sponsorship of the State Bar of Nevada, is once again presenting our unique wildlife law continuing legal education course for lawyers. This year’s course will be held on Friday, February 7, 2014, from 1:00 to 5:15 P.M. at the Safari Club International Annual Hunters’ Convention in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The course will offer three hours of general CLE credit and one hour of ethics credit. The price this year is $239.00, which includes course materials, refreshments and a ½ day same day admission to the SCI Convention. This year’s course will address a variety of domestic and international legal topics and will offer another entertaining original ethics skit performed by panel members and guests. Expect a few new surprises that will help make earning CLE credit more fun than obligation. Registration is being handled by the State Bar of Nevada.

To register, please use this link: If you have any questions, please contact Anna Seidman, Director of Litigation,

SCI Litigation Team on the Road for Wolves
The federal government’s shutdown has given SCI’s litigation team an unexpected opportunity to prepare our members for important opportunities to participate in the ongoing debate about the fate of wolves throughout the lower 48 states. When public hearings concerning the proposed delisting of gray wolves and modifications to the rules regarding Mexican wolves were cancelled, SCI attorneys Jeremy Clare and Anna Seidman each traveled to a site of the hearings to meet with SCI members and explain the key issues and the importance of providing public comment. Jeremy and Anna met with the Board of SCI’s Sacramento Chapter and representatives of SCI’s New Mexico chapters, respectively. Through these meetings, SCI hopes to encourage members to attend the public hearings when they are rescheduled in order to voice the concerns and interests of SCI members and the hunting community generally.

Hong Kong Seizes 189 Elephant Tusks From Three Ships
Hong Kong customs agents have seized nearly a ton of illegal ivory worth about $1.5 million, officials said Thursday, in the city’s third big bust of endangered species products in three months.

Williams & Williams will auction a 116+/- Ac Retreat w/3800+/- sf home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd, VA Oct 30. Details:

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