Potential to Hunt in Rocky Mountain National Park: The Final Plan of the environmental impact statement of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado was published on December 11, 2007 (72 FR 70342). One of the alternatives provided in the Final Plan would control the elk herd (“cull”) through hunting by “qualified volunteers”. This is a precedent-setting possibility that Conservation Force and other leading sportsmen’s conservation organizations have been promoting. The volunteer-hunters alternative would save millions of dollars.
The full plan is available at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The “preferred alternative” the Park Service is proposing includes the culling. Non-resident hunters may have an equal opportunity to participate in the culling if they are deemed qualified.
Conservation Force Land Trust Program: On the last business day of 2007 another conservation easement was donated to Conservation Force. This easement consists of 300 acres of undeveloped hardwood forest land that the owners want to remain as is for hunting and fishing forever. It is an old plantation site bordered by other plantations that are expected to sign similar agreements soon to preserve and/or restore the land to a wild state forever.
The contribution of the servitude/easement to Conservation Force entitles the owners to a $998,000 dollar donation, which they can take against income taxes over the next ten years. The donation also included an additional one percent ($10,000) donation to Conservation Force for the cost of a once-a-year inspection of the property to ensure it is not developed in violation of the donation.
The protection and restoration of habitat is one of our first priorities and is absolutely necessary for wildlife and our sporting way of life. If you wish to create a conservation easement on your land, particularly if you wish to ensure that it will remain open to hunting, contact Conservation Force at 504-837-1233. Ask for a brochure on Conservation Easements. You can also view the brochure online at: http://www.conservationforce.org/pdf/easements.pdf. Conservation Force holds and owns land, as well as conservation easements (deductible donation of development rights), invites contributions and partners with landowners to increase the productivity of their habitat for wildlife.
Mountain Nyala and The Murulle Foundation: The IUCN recently reevaluated the status of mountain nyala for its Red List. But for the scientific work of The Murulle Foundation in Ethiopia, the mountain nyala may have been uplisted to the status of “critically endangered” on the Red List. The Murulle Foundation has helped establish that the mountain nyala population is two or more times greater than what it was published to be in number. It has also established that the potential and available mountain nyala habitat is far greater than had been recognized. This was one of the unheralded successes in 2007.
Conservation Force supports and collaborates with The Murulle Foundation’s mountain nyala scientific conservation effort in Ethiopia. We have had several successful mountain nyala conservation initiatives over the years, but today we are partnering with The Murulle Foundation, which is responsible for the primary scientific effort within the hunting world to systematically save the mountain nyala. Some of Conservation Force’s most important supporters also support The Murulle Foundation, such as Alan and Barbara Sackman, Steven Chancellor and Dallas Safari Club. If you wish to support the effort, you can make a donation through Conservation Force (www.conservationforce.org/donate. html), as a designated donation will help us continue to take part. Or, you can make a donation directly to The Murulle Foundation (www.murulle .org), which, like Conservation Force, is also a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. Their work is imperative if we are to save the mountain nyala.
North American Wildlife Conference Program: There is to be a special day-long program on Hunting Heritage at the 73rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. It is entitled The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation: Hunting Heritage, and it is to run from 9 AM to 5:30 PM on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency, Phoenix, Arizona. Conservation Force Board member Shane Mahoney and I will be co-authoring one of the afternoon presentations entitled A Long Arc Recognition: Exploring the History of the Hunting-Conservation Movement and Recent Evidence of International Acceptance.
The whole conference runs March 24-29. It includes many important events and functions such as the simultaneous meetings of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and its Committee on Wildlife Law, Threatened and Endangered Species Policy, Sustainable Wildlife Use, and International Relations that yours truly belongs to. The CWD Alliance, AWCP, Boone & Crockett, The Wildlife Society International Working Group also meet during the same conference.
The Wildlife Management Institute hosts the annual event. Full conference information, including schedule, sessions, workshops and more, is available by visiting: www.wildlife managementinstitute.org.
Arctic North and Polar Bear Update; On the day the USF&WS was supposed to render a Final Rule on the proposed listing of the polar bear, it issued a Notice that it would not make the determination until later in the month of January. That same day it was mailed a 60-day advance notice of intent to sue by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resource Defense Council and Greenpeace that is required under the ESA. We expect that the final rule will be issued before you get this bulletin, but you will want to know the following facts in any case. No doubt you will not read any of this in the media, even though it comes from the same scientific sources.
NASA has disclosed that the historic melt in the Arctic north this summer was due to a weather front that blew away the cloud cover that normally protects the ice from direct summer sun, not global warming as originally thought. Not only was that clear sky the primary cause of the record melt, there would be more cloud cover from evaporation if it was warmer due to carbon dioxide. On top of that, the melt started later than normal and the ice refroze sooner and faster than normal – in the Churchill area of Western Hudson Bay in particular. The Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent is now greater (January) than it was last year. You may recall that the Western Hudson Bay area has actually been cooling over much of the past decade.
The delay in solar cycle 24 that has also finally begun means a reduced number of sunspots and cooler climate. Many climatologists anticipate cooler conditions, particularly in the 25th cycle around 2020.
Numerous reports cite the meteorologist founder of the Weather Channel, who was also the first weather forecaster on the television show Good Morning America, John Coleman. He has said that global warming is “manufactured”, “bad science”, and that we’ve been “duped”.
Strong opinions exist on both sides, and the number of disbelievers is growing. Perhaps more importantly, there are many downsides to the reactions to global warming and there is confusion over whether it will ultimately turn out to be harmful or beneficial. We must be careful rushing to solutions that may backfire.
The production of ethanol will cause a greater release of CO2 than the consumption of the petroleum it replaces. Second, the increase in corn crops is already causing a wildlife crisis because of the conversion of Conservation Reserve Program land into corn cropland. Idaho has reported losing 14 percent of its CRP land to more lucrative corn production. Leading conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited are crying alarm for waterfowl and other species.
In November, a database on carbon dioxide emissions was compiled on the 50,000 power plants in the world. Those emissions are estimated to be 25 percent of the total global CO2 emissions and 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the US. The 12 biggest emitters in the US were all coal-fired plants. Those producing electricity with negligible CO2 emissions were the hydro and nuclear plants. Some experts say that nuclear plant accidents will inevitably kill millions of people and hydro plants will kill trillions of fish.
Conservation Force did a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the substantive comments on the nine USGS Reports completed to support the polar bear listing. Fifteen of the comments opposed and only ten supported the listing. One comment was signed by 53 Congressmen and called for the bear to be listed as “endangered”, not threatened, largely because “new observational data from this summer show that the actual decline of Arctic sea ice…is underestimated…” (which is the misinterpretation of the record summer melt discussed above). Those Congressmen were, in the order of their signatures, Jay Inslee, Christopher Shays, Edward Markey, Maurice Hinchey, Raul Grijalva, Peter Defazio, Jan Scha- kowsky, Tammy Baldwin, Frank Lobiondo, George Miller, Jerrold Nadler, Earl Blumenauer, Rosa Delauro, Albert Wynn, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, Donald Payne, James Moran, Alcee L. Hastings, Emanuel Cleaver, Barney Frank, Chris Van Hollen, Dennis Moore, Robert Wexler, Henry Waxman, Jose Serrano, John Tierney, Baron Hill, Tom Allen, Charles A. Gonzales, William Delahunt, Howard Berman, Luis V. Gutierez, James McGoven, Bob Filner, Dennis Kucinich, Paul Hodes, Michael Doyle, Julia Carson, Patrick Murphy, Albio Sires, Sam Farr, Susan Davis, Michael McNulty, Frank Pallone Jr., Lois Capps, Michael Honda, John Olver, Sander M. Levin, Carolyn B. Maloney, Carol Shea-Porter, and Loretta Sanchez.
Educational Items Available from Conservation Force: Conservation Force has three new or redesigned educational items available to its donors. All three will be sent free to any donor who contributes $10 or more. The first item is the bumper sticker that states “147 Million Sportsmen Pay For Most Conservation.” That bumper sticker has just been enlarged and re-colored so that it can be better seen and read from a longer distance. The number on the sticker represents the number of people living in the United States who have hunted or fished, for those persons have paid the bills. Anglers and hunters pay more for wildlife conservation than all others in society combined.
The second item is a new smaller sticker stating “Conservation Force” and, in smaller print, “Sportsmen are the force.” That is the function of our name, and it is now available in a cell-phone-sized logo sticker.
The third item is a frame-able, parchment-paper copy of President Bush’s 2007 Executive Order directing federal agencies “to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat.” Conservation Force has had the Executive Order artistically rendered after consultation with the White House.
All three items, as well as Conservation Force’s unchanged poster entitled America’s Abundant Wildlife, are available to donors as part of Conservation Force’s public education program. Make your contribution to Conservation Force, PO Box 278, Metairie, LA 70004-0278 USA; or on the web at: www.conservationforce.org/donate. html. If you wish to make a large order of any of the above items, contact Conservation Force for special arrangements via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildilfe, IGF: James Mellon dedicated his epic book on Africa, African Hunter, “to H.I.H. Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi for his superlative trophy collection and his invaluable contributions to wildlife conservation.” The Prince himself wrote the Introduction to African Hunter and appeared in the stories throughout the book. In that introduction, Prince Abdorreza wrote that “Any activity that from prehistoric times has preoccupied a large segment of the human race requires no window dressing.” He also supported Conservation Force until his death.
One of the Prince’s many great conservation legacies is the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife located in Paris. The late Baron Bertrand des Clers, a Conservation Force Board member, managed the IGF for decades and Philippe Chardonnet, also a Conservation Force Board member, now manages the Foundation. Yours truly has served on the Board of IGF for more than a decade. The accomplishments of IGF are far too numerous to list in this short space. They span from the conservation of markhor to jaguar. The IGF is both a member of the IUCN and a CITES observer.
Today, the IGF is as active as ever under the management of Philippe Chardonnet, the Conservation Force Board member who replaced Bertrand des Clers. IGF and Conservation Force regularly partner on projects. Philippe is the co-chair of the IUCN’s Antelope Specialist Group and also serves as a member of IUCN’s Cat Specialist Group and the African Lion Working Group. Readers may remember it was Philippe who authored Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey for Conservation Force in 2002. What you may not realize is that it is Philippe who has been reintroducing black rhino in registered communal conservancies in Namibia, collaring forest elephant, bongo and Lord Derby eland in Cameroon, Central Africa and Gabon. It is he who is advising and overseeing the experimental hunting projects in Gabon and Benin recently described in The Hunting Report. The IGF is also in the lead in Mozambique. It has registered as a national NGO in Mozambique and taken over the management and restoration of the Gile’ National Reserve through a memorandum of understanding of five years duration. It also acts as the management and conservation advisor to the only hunting concession truly within the NIASSA Reserve boundary.
Tax-deductible contributions can be made to IGF for any of its worthy projects through Conservation Force. Simply designate it for IGF or any of its projects.
Cabela’s Big Footprint: We’ve recently come to realize that Cabela’s positive impact is much greater and of a different kind than commonly perceived. Cabela’s is more than a store. Its very existence is ensuring the continuance of hunting, fishing and our cherished way of life as surely as many of the efforts of direct hunting advocacy organizations. Its stand-alone impact became evident at its recent opening of a new store in Gonzales, Louisiana.
In Gonzales, everything from the planned construction of the store to all of its grand opening ceremonies and events were covered by major media. Everyone knew it was coming, sportsmen and sportswomen and others alike. Before its construction, it already symbolized the importance of the hunting, fishing and outdoor industries that it serves. The fanfare of its opening also symbolized the importance of outdoor recreation, particularly hunting and fishing. It was momentous, but what caught me by surprise materialized over the following months. Hardly a household in the surrounding community and the entire region of the state had not been to Cabela’s for hours on end, captivated by the many gadgets and products on sale designed to enhance one’s enjoyment of the great outdoor world. By Christmas, it was so pervasive that nearly every household in all the surrounding communities exchanged gifts from Cabela’s.
The presence of the giant store legitimizes and stimulates the relevancy of outdoor recreation. Every Cabela’s magazine received in the mail glorifies and fortifies the importance in our lives of underlying wildlife-related recreation. Cabela’s is building the community it serves with 26 stores in 23 states. It is making the clothing, furnishings and equipment of every description fashionable, desirable and more than just acceptable.
Of course, Cabela’s is also engaged directly in hunting advocacy and wildlife conservation. Conservation Force is a “conservation partner” and is supported in part by Cabela’s as are many, many others. Cabela’s is truly pulling its weight in many ways. We’ve long recognized that role and that Cabela’s growth reflects the growth and stability of hunting. It is more than an indicator. It is also ensuring the future. It is more than the World’s Foremost Outfitter. Visit their web site at: www.cabelas.com.
The same must be said for Gander Mountain - We Live Outdoors that has more than 115 stores and advertises itself as “Home to the Largest Selection of Hunting Products in the Nation!” Their web address is www. gandermountain.com. The same is true of Bass Pro Shops – Where the Great Outdoors Comes Home. Together, these giant stores are changing America and making the sporting way of life more relevant. They are helping build the very same community of interests they are serving. They are forces for conservation and our way of life. They have become part of the conservation infrastructure that will continue the North American Model of Conservation. – John J. Jackson, III.