Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Ac

We must oppose H.R. 2406, the so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2015,” when it goes to the floor this week. as well as any amendments to the bill that would undermine wildlife conservation and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the Ribble wolf delisting amendment. This damaging legislation contains provisions that threaten elephants and other imperiled wildlife and their habitat. These provisions are harmful to wildlife conservation efforts and are not needed to advance the bill’s purported intent.

H.R. 2406 includes destructive provisions that undermine domestic and international wildlife policy, including provisions that jeopardize the survival of African elephants already at great risk from poaching. An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory tusks, fueling black markets, funding organized criminal networks and pushing this iconic species to the brink of extinction. H.R. 2406 would block recent efforts by the Administration and the Fish and Wildlife Service to crack down on ivory trafficking and the sale of illegal ivory within our borders. It would also undercut the recent commitment between the United States and China to fight wildlife trafficking and halt the illegal ivory trade in both countries.

H.R. 2406 contains many damaging provisions that erode longstanding public lands protections. It would severely impact the National Wildlife Refuge System, the backbone of our national wildlife conservation program by blocking the future application of the National Environmental Policy Act to the entire Refuge System. This would allow damaging activities to take place within refuges without any environmental impact analysis at all. It also upends refuge management, circumventing established planning processes and threatening protection of crucial wildlife habitat. Finally, H.R. 2406 rolls back protections for congressionally designated wilderness areas, opening pristine lands to road construction, motorized vehicles and other activities that undercut the purpose of wilderness areas.

H.R. 2406 further undermines wildlife policy by opening millions of acres of public lands to commercial trapping where it may currently be limited or prohibited under state jurisdiction. In addition, despite the well documented dangers of toxic lead poisoning for fish, wildlife and human health, H.R. 2406 prohibits certain regulation of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. It also prevents the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture from controlling lead use on Bureau of Land Management lands and the National Forest System.

The Ribble Amendment to H.R. 2406 would undermine science-based decision making under the ESA by stripping federal protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The amendment overrides two federal court decisions that found the state management plans at issue were insufficient to justify the removal of federal protections for wolves under the ESA. Further, this amendment includes a “no judicial review” clause covering both court decision overrides thus stripping citizens of the ability to further challenge these wolf delistings. The appeals processes on these court decisions impacting wolves in the four states are still underway. It would be damaging for Congress to meddle in the ESA listing status of a particular species at any stage, but now is an especially bad time as these cases are still playing out in the courts.

This bill if enacted would destroy every thing we have worked so hard to keep our wildlife safe It would also destroy the very concept of for which these refuges were created–total protection and freedom from human means to use lethal means to destroy them. Also we must see to it that no amendments are added to H.R. 2406 that undermine the Endangered Species Act or cause additional harm to wildlife conservation efforts, including the Ribble Amendment.

We must act FAST to see that this legislation is defeated in both houses of Congress.