The threat flashpoint is that petition to uplist the polar bear to threatened that John J. Jackson, III, has been writing about in his Conservation Force Bulletin. The new wrinkle is, the same antis who filed that petition have now filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco. The suit, if successful, would force the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&W) to provide protection for the bears under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. An end to the import of trophies would be all but inevitable.
At press time, Jackson said he was studying the suit and would have more to say about it in a future bulletin. In the meantime, we called Mike Carpenter of the USF&WS Permit Office. Carpenter issues all permits to import polar bears into the US. Asked about the suit, Carpenter said it appeared to him that the "suit had merit." As evidence, he e-mailed me a news story about the lawsuit, which points out that carcasses of polar bears are now being found in parts of the Arctic. The bears are thought to have died as a result of drowning caused by the retreat of the ice pack.
"I'm telling hunters to get their permits in and go hunting," Carpenter said. Asked if he meant for that statement to sound threatening, he refused to elaborate, saying the statement should speak for itself. Indeed it does.