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HSC Legislative Update


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization dedicated to legislative and policy initiatives that may affect the future of hunting. HSC supports initiatives that protect the tradition of hunting and hunters’ rights. We take an active role in efforts to effect policy, protocols and legislation. Our mission is to protect the rights of hunters and the hunting heritage through advocacy, policy and legislation.

CONNECTICUT SENATE BILL 20: AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPORT, SALES & POSSESSION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS, LIONS, LEOPARDS, BLACK RHINOCEROS, WHITE RHINOCEROS & GIRAFFES

Introduced by Connecticut Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) Senate Bill 20 would ban the import, sale and possession of what Sen. Duff refers to as “the Big Six” African species – African elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and giraffes. This legislation does not consider the positive recovery effects legal hunting has had, from a conservation and financial standpoint, for these species. The legislation will disrupt the enhancement permitting of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conflicts with and is preempted by Section 6(f) of the Endangered Species Act and CITES that is implemented through the Act. It also violates the Dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, violations of this bill propose a felony charge and fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 2 years. HSC has joined with Conservation Force, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Dallas Safari Club, and Wildlife Management Institute to petition David Bernhardt, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, to request that Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont veto this bill and if necessary file injunctive suit to enforce the provisions of the ESA and Commerce Clause.

2020 TRANSPORTATION BILL

HSC joined 43 other conservation and outdoor recreation groups in a communication to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee regarding sportsmen’s issue related to the 2020 Transportation Bill. The letter extended an offer for these groups to work with the Committee on nature-based and natural infrastructure solutions, fish and wildlife crossings and connectivity, stormwater reductions, and resilience opportunities for long-term sustainability and public safety. The correspondence may be viewed at https://houstonsafariclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2020-Transportation-Bill-conservation-groups-priorities-1.pdf

THE CECIL ACT

House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act, a bill that restricts the importation of any species that have been listed or proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This bill would amend the ESA to treat species proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered as though they have already been listed for the purposes of  hunting import licensing, thereby prohibiting unpermitted take or trade of species proposed to be listed; requires that any wildlife imports to the U.S. enhance the conservation of the species; directs the Government Accountability Office to determine whether there is any evidence that trophy hunting in foreign countries contributes to wildlife conservation; recommend reforms for the industry; and terminates the International Wildlife Conservation Council, a Trump administration-created forum for the assessment of international trophy hunting. This proposed legislation is backed by no scientific data and is merely an emotional plea to stop hunting of large animals. The proposed bill may be viewed here: https://houstonsafariclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CECIL-Act.pdf

NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM BUDGET

HSC joined 24 other hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation, and outdoor-recreation-based organizations in thanking David Bernhardt, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, for requesting $509.5 million for National Wildlife Refuge System Operations and Maintenance to be included in the President’s FY 2020 Budget Request.

The increase of $21.5 million over current enacted levels would be the highest funding level ever for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Sec. Bernhardt has repeatedly demonstrated advocacy to expand access to hunting and fishing on wildlife refuges across the country thus providing increased access to sportsmen and women. This letter may be viewed here: https://houstonsafariclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NWRS-budget-request-letter.pdf

BOTSWANA HUNTING BAN LIFTED

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism has announced that the Government of Botswana has lifted its ban on hunting. Findings that led to the removal of the ban included (1) the increased number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods; (2) the increase in the number of predators and predator-related kills of livestock; (3) the negative impact on livelihoods, particularly for community-based organizations that previously benefitted from consumptive utilization; and (4) the lack of capacity and long response times within the Department of Wildlife and National Parks related to animal control reports. The official announcement may be viewed here: https://houstonsafariclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Botswana-Hunting-Ban-Lifted.pdf

Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.


Houston Safari Club (HSC) is a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax, under section 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Payments to HSC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Please contact your tax advisor concerning deductibility of any payments as business deductions. HSC EIN: 76-0082197. HSC is an independent organization, is not affiliated with Safari Club International (SCI) or its affiliates and is not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization.