Bogus designation of polar bears as "threatened" means more will be killed

“And yet, despite all of the above [evidence that polar bears are not endangered], on May 14th 2008 U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, invoking the U.S. Endangered Species Act, proclaimed polar bears as a “threatened species,” in effect threatening more of them with death … (stick with me here.)  …

In 1972 … the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibited [polar bear] hunting in Alaska. (And no, it’s not the hunting ban that has caused their increased numbers; they proliferated equally in Canada which continued the polar bear season.)

So after 1972 U.S. hunters started hunting polar bears in Canada. But Kempthorne’s proclamation (upheld by Interior Sec. Salazar in the current administration) means that U.S. hunters will be barred by law from bringing their trophy bear skins into the U.S.

[Before the proclamation] hunters (primarily from the U.S.) had been paying $30,000 for the chance of whacking a polar bear during a grueling hunt in the Canadian arctic on dog-sleds and in sub-zero weather.  …

Recreational hunters (again, overwhelmingly from the U.S) pumped $3 million a year into Eskimo communities for polar bear hunts. These Inuit communities get a quota of bear tags (licenses) from the Canadian government to use as they see fit. They can hunt the bears themselves for the meat, and for the roughly $1000 per hide if they sell it. Or they can sell the tag to a recreational hunter for $30,000 –serve as his guide, (i.e. he can experience most of their culture’s traditional and integral parts of the hunt) and still keep the meat. Only a federal bureaucrat could miss the implications here.

In fact, these hunts being such an integral part of their culture, a few Inuits elect to retain the tags for themselves to do the killing. The new ruling means that now they’ll probably keep them all. A recreational hunt lasts a few days and—like all hunting–does not always climax with kill. But the tag is considered used once it’s sold to a recreational hunter, kill or no kill. On the other hand, Inuit hunters always kill a bear because they have months to fill that tag. So now that U.S. recreational hunters are barred by U.S. law from bringing home their conversation-piece rug, the Inuits have no choice but to keep their tags, assuring that more polar bears will be killed.”  “Um — about those vanishing polar bears …

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