NRA Files Opposition To CBD Petition To Ban Hunting In Mojave Preserve
Mojave, CA – -(AmmoLand.com)-On November 24, 2009, under the guise of protecting the Mojave Desert Tortoise, the Center for Biological Diversity and others (CBD) presented the California Fish & Game Commission (FGC) with a petition for rule making (Petition) that requests FGC make several revisions to current hunting regulations that, if adopted, would severely limit hunting in the Mojave National Preserve (MNP).
Because the Petition is not supported by scientific research and would unfairly restrict hunting, NRA and the CRPA Foundation recently filed an Opposition to the Petition with the FGC that explains why the Petition should be denied. The FGC, working with legal counsel for the California Department of Fish & Game, is now reviewing the Petition. It is likely the FGC will announce if the Petition has been denied or will be given further consideration at the February 3-4, 2009, meeting of the FGC.
Curiously, CBD previously filed the Petition with the Commission on August 19, 2003. And in fact, the 2003 filing appears to be based on a petition CBD presented to the Department of the Interior, National Parks Service, in 2002. Neither the 2002 nor 2003 petition filings, however, resulted in any rule making occurring. This is likely true because those petitions, just like the Petition, were based on out-of-date research and unsupported conjecture.
Specifically, the current petition requests the Commission enact regulations that: 1) prohibit hunting of any game or non-game animal in MNP except resident game birds, deer, and bighorn sheep; 2) limit hunting of the animals listed above to dates between September 1 and January 31 of the following year (with bighorn sheep hunting allowed into early February); 3) prohibit the use of dogs for hunting in the MNP; and 4) prohibit the use of spotlights in connection with hunting in the MNP. The current petition does not even explain the request for rule making as to the use of hunting dogs and spotlights; it is focused on limiting the type of animals that can be hunted, and the seasons such hunting can occur.
The Petition primarily relies on research that occurred before the Mojave Desert Tortoise was listed as threatened under California and federal law (1989 and 1990, respectively), before the MNP was created under the California Desert Protection Act (1994), and before the Desert Tortoise (Mojave Population) Recovery Plan was adopted (1994). Importantly, the data examined in that research was also collected before more than $90,000,000 was spent on the Mojave Desert Tortoise’s recovery (1996-2006). Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the research at issue (to the extent it is considered credible) tends to examine instances where tortoise shells were apparently, shot by non-hunters. Not only does such research not implicate hunting as a potential cause of harm to tortoises, it does not even indicate living tortoises were harmed by the use of a firearm.
The Opposition can be viewed at www.calgunlaws.com.
The California Rifle and Pistol Association “CRPA,” founded in 1875, is dedicated to defending the rights of law-abiding citizens to responsibly use firearms for self-defense and the defense of their loved ones, for sport, and for all other legal activities. CRPA is the official state association of the National Rifle Association. A California non-profit association, CRPA is independently directed by its own Board of Directors. CRPA’s 65,000 members include law enforcement officers, prosecutors, professionals, firearm experts, the general public, and loving parents. CRPA has always worked to reduce the criminal misuse of firearms and firearms accidents, while actively promoting and organizing the competitive shooting sports and Olympic training programs in California. We are proud to say that many CRPA competitors are among the best in the world.
For a list of Assembly&/or Senate members and their contact information, please access them via www.sen.ca.gov and www.assembly.ca.gov/acs