FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Greg R. Lawson (614) 888-4868 x 214
December 10, 2010 Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 x 226
Forest Service to Consider Banning Gun Hunting
in Parts of Huron-Manistee National Forest(Columbus, OH) - As a result of a recent anti-hunting court ruling, the U.S. Forest Service is starting a formal review of its Management Plan for the Huron-Manistee National Forest to consider banning hunting with firearms in some areas.
In September, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service’s regulations required that it consider banning hunting with guns on lands designated as “semi-primitive.” The Court found that the noise associated with gun hunting could harm the quality of the recreational experience of hikers, backpackers, and cross county skiers.
Just as troublesome, the Court ruled that the Forest Service was required to consider closing these areas to gun hunting in places where there is other public, non-Forest land nearby that is open to gun hunting. This could require the Forest Service to close lands currently open for gun hunting when other state or federal hunting lands are opened.The court ruling has prompted the Forest Service to start a formal review of the Huron-Manistee Management Plan. Primarily, the review will focus on whether or not hunting with guns should be banned on the “semi-primitive” areas.
Sportsmen will be given opportunities to submit comments to the Forest Service throughout the review process.
“This court ruling is a major threat to hunting on these lands and across the country,” said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs. “Anti-hunters will likely use this ruling to try and force the Forest Service to ban gun hunting on other Forest lands.
On October 26th, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and a coalition of nineteen other leading conservation groups sent a letter to the Forest Service requesting that it rewrite the regulations the Court used to render the anti-hunting decision.
The USSA will keep sportsmen apprised of when and where they can submit comments on this issue.
Better start writing your Congressional reps . . . .
About the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.