Around the States: Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Alabama: SCI CEO Laird Hamberlin recently submitted comments regarding the Tennessee River Bridge Feasibility Study in North Alabama and its potential impacts on access to and hunting within the Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Swan Creek, Alabama’s most widely used WMA, consists of nearly 9000 acres of prime waterfowling, wildlife watching, target shooting, fishing and more. The letter requested that the project consultant and City of Decatur strongly consider the potential negative impacts of the proposed bridge on Swan Creek WMA, Alabama’s outdoor economy, public access, habitat, and water quality. Additionally, it suggested considering alternative paths that would be less detrimental to Swan Creek WMA. Read the letter here. 

Idaho: SCI submitted comments in support of temporary closures of shed antler hunting on big game animal winter range following severe winter events to help decrease mortality of animals. Read the letter here. 

Kansas: SCI Western State and Local Liaison Chris Tymeson travelled to the Sunflower State Capitol of Topeka to attend the Kansas Caucus Sporting Clays event on October 4, 2023. The event was hosted by the Congressional Sportmen’s Caucus, and while there, Tymeson engaged with legislators, government officials and other non-governmental conservation organizations. Pictured L-R:  Kris Kobach, Kansas Attorney General, and Chris Tymeson, SCI Western State and Local Liaison.

New Jersey: Despite another legal challenge to the science-based Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) in New Jersey, the 2023 Black Bear hunt began yesterday for archery and runs until October 14. In an attempt to stop the 2023 Bear Hunt, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, New Jersey Fish and Game Council, Governor Murphy, and New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs were named in a lawsuit challenging the appointment process to the Game and Fish Council. Last week, the presiding judge denied the effort to halt the 2023 bear hunt and dismiss the CBBMP which will allow for the 2023 hunt and continuation of the CBBMP going forward. For full information regarding season dates, methods of take, and new harvest restrictions, please visit NJDEP| Fish & Wildlife | Bear Hunting Season Information

Pennsylvania: Huge conservation victory in the Keystone state with the removal of a proposed $150 million transfer from the Game Fund in state’s annual budget bill! As previously reported, SCI joined with partner organizations in grassroots support (HAAC link) and an official opposition letter (link) opposing the proposed transfer from the Game Fund. Last week, the PA House of Representatives passed House Bill 1300 but removed the transfer provision effectively securing the integrity, future federal funding, and conservation delivery of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Game Fund.