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Sportsmen Win Court Battle to Protect Wildlife Management

U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation
Formerly the Wildlife Conservation Fund of America
801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229
Ph. 614/888-4868 * Fax 614/888-0326
Website: www.ussportsmen.org * E-mail: info@ussportsmen.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Doug Jeanneret (614) 888-4868 x 212
March 12, 2002 Beth Ruth (614) 888-4868 x 214

Sportsmen Win Court Battle to Protect Wildlife Management

(Columbus) - A court ruling yesterday deals a major setback to an insidious campaign that has worked for years to remove sportsmen as the funding source for this nation's wildlife programs.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation (formerly the Wildlife Conservation Fund of America) had been fighting a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In his ruling, Judge Richard Enslen ruled against the Sierra Club, clearing the way for sportsman-supported wildlife conservation to continue.

In the suit, the Sierra Club made five specific complaints against the MDNR and the USFWS. The complaints involved land management issues, including forestry practices that benefit game species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey and ruffed grouse, as well as various non-game animals.
Other sportsmen's organizations working on the effort included the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Ruffed Grouse Society.

"We had to get involved because we knew that a ruling in Michigan in favor of the environmentalists would spell the end of programs that have produced abundant wildlife for hunters and anglers across the country," said Rick Story, U. S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation vice president. "This victory protects hunting programs for all sportsmen and will go far toward curbing the spread of these cases to other states. "

The Sierra Club has filed several suits in recent years that challenged the use of Pittman-Robertson (P-R) and Dingell-Johnson (D-J) dollars for state wildlife programs that include hunting, fishing and trapping. The P-R and D-J programs distribute funding to the states generated by an excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition and fishing gear. The tax is borne by hunters and anglers.


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