Alaska: State & Local Liaison Chris Tymeson went up to Alaska for the SCI Kenai Chapter Banquet. As he says, fishing is always a great way to start the day!
Arizona: The Arizona Game and Fish Department is one of the premier wildlife management agencies in the country and the Game and Fish Commission provides advice to the Department. Currently, 2 of the fully qualified commission candidates have yet to be confirmed by the Senate and time is running short. Take action now!
New York: Assembly Bill 2917, which attempts to ban any contest, competition, tournament or derby where the objective of such contest or competition is to take wildlife, is being heard in the Assembly Codes Committee TODAY at 11am eastern. Last week, SCI submitted a letter of opposition to AB 2917 in which SCI advocated for the management authority of the DEC and also recognized these contests, and participants, are constrained by the same rules, regulations and bag limits as non-participants.
South Carolina: Later this week, South Carolina will officially allow for Sunday hunting during certain months on a majority of their public lands! On Friday, May 26, following the regulations process, new DNR regulations will be implemented that will allow for Sunday hunting on eight WMAs and both National Forests in the state, which totals roughly 70% of the available public land for hunting. Hunting opportunity on Sunday will be open from October 15 to January 31. SCI supported the changes throughout the legislative and regulatory process through testimony and support letters, and thanks our conservation partners as well as former SCI State Legislator of the Year Rep. Bobby Cox for their continued efforts to promote seven-day public land hunting opportunities in the Palmetto State.
Vermont: Due to a sportsmen-led lawsuit, the USFWS recently reopened the public comment period for the Hunting and Fishing Plan in the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge which includes over 36,000 huntable acres in Vermont and New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the initial plan released in the Fall of 2021 contained several restrictions related to hunting dogs, but the Plan was done without the required disclosure of the potential regulation changes and the proper associated public comment period (per the federal Administrative Procedures Act). Now the USFWS has reopened an attenuated comment period (30 days as opposed to the typical 90 days for federal rulemaking) and is attempting to couch the improperly instituted rules from 2021 as the status quo. These changes would require a special use permit for anyone using more than two dogs, eliminate training on the NWR during most of the state training season and restrict the use of hunting with dogs strictly to ruffed grouse in one section. SCI encourages all hunters, especially those who hunt on the Silvio Conte Refuge, those who hunt with dogs in any location, and those who hunt on NWR lands across the country, to email [email protected] by Thursday, May 25 with comments on the plan and ask the FWS to vacate the current rules on the use of dogs for hunting that were wrongfully added to the 2021 hunting plan. For more information and for the full plan, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/silvio-o-conte.