Around the States: NEAFWA, Alaska, Colorado, Pennsylvania

NEAFWA: SCI Eastern States and Local Liaison Bee Frederick attended the 78th Annual Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference in Hershey, PA. In addition to attending various conservation sessions related to R3, lead ammunition, CWD and other important topics, he presented to the state agency directors on SCI’s mission and how SCI, and our members, can be partners in the states on legislative and regulatory issues related to hunting.   

Alaska: Last week, SCI President Sven Lindquist left comments to Alaska’s Senate Judiciary Committee on House Bill 61, an act relating to restrictions on firearms and other weapons. House Bill 61 generally prohibits state agencies or municipalities from limiting an individual’s access to firearms, ammunition, and components during declared states of emergency, in addition to other similar anti-firearms ownership and firearms commerce measures. The bill would also allow individuals whose rights are infringed upon, a form of recourse in the court system. As was seen during the pandemic, access to firearms was a critical part of the well-being of individuals seeking to recreate outdoors including hunting, as well as the basic fundamental right of self-protection Read SCI’s full comments opposing Alaska HB 61 here:

Pennsylvania: SCI, as part of the Pennsylvania Sportsmen and Women Policy Workgroup, signed onto a group support letter for Senate Bill 344 which would allow nonresident college students to purchase a hunting license at resident pricing. This bill would only be available to students for a maximum of four consecutive years. Out-of-state licensing costs are a primary barrier for college-aged students who wish to continue hunting when pursuing an education outside of their home state and this bill would help to retain these students as hunters and license buyers.

Colorado: SCI issued an action alert to members requesting they ask Governor Polis to sign SB 23-256, which would delay introduction of wolves until a 10(j) designation is approved to place wolves in Colorado.

Wolves in Colorado are currently federally classified as endangered and as such, Colorado has very limited management authority of the species.  The State has petitioned for an experimental non-essential classification under section 10(j) of the Federal Endangered Species Act, which would provide the State with much greater management authority.

Colorado Senate Bill 23-256 would clarify that the State can only release wolves after a 10(j) designation is finalized by the USFWS.  While this could delay reintroduction past December 31, an arbitrary deadline set by the Governor, the 10(j) designation is critical for State management.

Animal rights organizations oppose the Bill because the 10(j) designation would allow the State to use lethal control on problem wolves and they simply want wolves to be released but not managed.

Senate Bill 23-256 had broad bipartisan support in both the House (41-22) and the Senate (28-12).

Please contact Governor Polis today and ask him to sign this bill!