Sportsmen Protect Bear Hunt in Florida

U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Bear Hunting Magazine
03/14/2008

The U.S. Sportsmens Alliance Foundation was victorious in its representation of hunters interests in a lawsuit brought by antis to make black bears in Florida off-limits to sportsmen forever.

The case contended that the black bear in Florida is in deep trouble and is an endangered sub-species of the North American black bear, entitling Florida bears to protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)., It was brought by the Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club and other anti-hunters. United States District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. presided over the case.

The Court found the Defenders of Wildlife case to be wholly baseless, said Rick Story, senior vice president of USSAF. The judge wisely deferred to the scientific conclusion of the agency with statutory responsibility for the health and well-being of the bears. The bottom line is that the black bear is healthy and abundant, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is doing a fine job of managing them and the court completely ignored the anti-hunters nonsensical argument that the Florida bear is an endangered subspecies of the North American black bear.

A dangerous precedent would have been set if the black bears in Florida had been classified as a sub-species and categorized as endangered. It would have allowed anti-hunters to bring similar lawsuits to challenge the classification of deer, quail and other game animals that have numerous populations throughout the country.

Its great to see that the judge saw this the way sportsmen do, said Brad McNaughton, president of the Central Florida Bear Hunters Association. These groups call themselves advocates, but hunters are the ones that care about the well-being of these species. Our hats are off to the Sportsmens Alliance  without them, none of this would have been possible.

Antis have tried for years to list Floridas bears under the ESA, but extensive research by the USFWS has determined that the listing is not warranted. Studies show that healthy bear populations occur in secure habitats throughout Florida.

The USSAF joined with Central Florida Bear Hunters Association, Safari Club International and Mark Roden of St. Augustine to intervene in the case.

The SLDF is the nations only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmens interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmens rights in local, state and federal courts, representing the interests of sportsmen. It also assists government lawyers who have little or no background in wildlife law. For more information, e-mail info@ussportsmen.org

The U.S. Sportsmens Alliance Foundation protects and defends Americas wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits  hunting, fishing and trapping  that generate the money to pay for them. The U.S. Sportsmens Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmens Alliance Foundation and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussafoundation.org.



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