Friday, March 02, 2007

Polar Bear Comments

I just got this from the SCI group and I am thinking about stopping by and making some public comments this coming Monday. If you have the time please make make your written statements known and send them in. While I am very concerned about global warming, I know that the reality of conservation in North America is that if you take away the opportunity for hunters to hunt specific species you take away the money that flows from the people willing to invest in the opportunity to protect those animals. Polar bears are currently at an all time high in Alaska and the North West Territories/Yukon! These issues are two separate issues and need to be treated as such!


Dear SCI Members in Maryland, Virginia and DC,

For those of you near the D.C. area, we have just received notice of a public hearing for input on the decision to list polar bears as threatened on the endangered species list due to the threats from global warming. Please see the details below and if you are available, plan to come by and register your comments and interest on behalf of sportsmen and women everywhere on this particular issue. Alaska residents, please note meetings in your state as well.

What: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a Public Hearing in Washington, D.C. to present information and take public comments on the 12-month petition finding and proposed rule to list the polar bear as "threatened" throughout its range under the Endangered Species Act.

When: Monday, March 5, 2007, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Department of the Interior auditorium, 1849 C. St NW, Washington, D.C. (C St. Entrance)

The hearing will begin with a background presentation on the petition finding and the proposed rule. That will be followed by a question and answer session followed by testimony.

Anyone wishing to make an oral statement will be asked to register upon arrival at the meeting. Those wishing to provide spoken comments at the meeting are encouraged to also deliver a written copy of their statement.

The Service is particularly interested in comments concerning information on polar bear distribution, habitat selection, food habits, population density and trends, habitat trends, and effects of management on polar bears, the effects of sea ice change on the distribution and abundance of polar bears and their principal prey, the effects of other potential factors (such as oil and gas development, contaminants, ecotourism, hunting, and poaching), any populations of the species that may qualify as distinct population segments, and data and studies referred to within the proposal.

Hearings are also scheduled to be held in Alaska in Anchorage (March 1) and Barrow (March 7).

Written comments will be accepted at the meeting, or can be sent by April 9, 2007 by mail to: Supervisor, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road