The so-called Sportsmen's Act in Congress was always a misnomer. The bill provides a small class of trophy hunters free rein to kill native carnivores or bring their body parts into the United States without delivering anything practical or meaningful for rank-and-file hunters and fishermen. Yesterday, this bad bill became an atrocious one after proponents larded on a series of destructive amendments during a key committee voting session. As a result, The HSUS is calling on the Senate to leave the bill aside and take no further action on it.
In yesterday's mischief, U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, won passage of an amendment to strip federal protection for endangered gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states, just weeks after the House and Senate decided to jettison a similar provision from the $1.1 trillion end-of-year spending bill. The proposal from Barrasso, which mirrors a bill he recently introduced with Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, would subvert two federal court rulings and cherry-pick a species from the federal list of endangered species for purely political reasons. When wolves were delisted in 2012, 20 percent of their Wisconsin population was wiped out in just one hunting season, including 17 entire family units. In a three-year period, more than 1,500 wolves were killed in the Great Lakes states alone. The federal courts put a stop to this reckless mistreatment and slaughter of wolves, and politicians shouldn't undercut judicial review of delisting actions.