Update on November 14, 2012
A sample letter to the Senators - feel free to pick and choose info and sentences from this sample - (for those who choose to write or email).....I called, I wrote, and I emailed because I feel it is that important:
There are some things we don't get a second chance at. Preserving ecological integrity in places that we have set aside for wildlife and humans to be free from killing, to remain wild and unmolested falls into that category. The threats our wildlife face come from many directions, loss of habitat, trophy hunters and poaching, conflicts with humans and or human-based activities as well as the hardships of living in the wild as predator or prey. The last thing we need right now is to open our national parks or wilderness areas, that do not allow hunting, to more killing. Our public lands are already minefields for wildlife and people, as well as our pets. Trappers boast online about littering public lands with traps and snares, hunters poach wild animals( like wolves out of bias and cultural attitudes based in ignorance and promote the sss shoot shovel and shut up code of ethics or they brag about gut shooting an animal to make it suffer and avoid having to claim it as a kill) and most wildlife spend 6-9 months a year dodging bullets, arrows, snares, traps, cable restraints and or poisons. Our national wilderness and public areas should provide some refuge for wildlife, and for the majority of Americans who do not agree with a culture of killing that is far out of step with the fair-chase ethics that used to predominate hunting. There is a new hunting ethos that does not embrace anything fair or humane but celebrates killing. In addition to opening up our wilderness to more pressure from hunting, the sportsman heritage act would also prevent NEPA review of the effects of hunting on non-target species and their habitats and prevent EPA regulations on lead ammunition, a problem that is causing great damage to ecosystems and the wildlife that rely on healthy habitats. Its unconscionable to allow one sneaky bill to bypass regulatory oversight from other legislation, that has withstood the rigor of public approval and scrutiny, and that was designed to protect all of us from abuses related to excessive and rampant consumptive uses that degrade our environment, wildlife and wilderness. We are squandering our natural resources with lightning speed and with little regard for the future and what we leave for our children and grandchildren. This bill is being pushed by lobbyists like the NRA, Safari Club International and other special interest groups that, if left to their own, will turn our public lands into hunting zoos. I am vehemently opposed to this legislation and urge you to vote against it and to spread the word in Congress. Many Americans do not support hunting and do not want to have our public lands and wilderness turned into killing fields for a sport to satisfy people who want to kill for fun, and when you get right down to it that is what trophy hunting is. This bill is not designed for hunters who hunt for food, its designed to promote and enhance trophy hunting. Trophy hunting is an unsustainable pastime that should be limited and measured not expanded. I believe as do many many Americans that this type of killing should be a relic of the past given the issues and threats our wildlife and wilderness face.