This page will include information to help you take action on recent decisions that harm the environment.  I will update as necessary.

 

At the bottom I've listed some links if you want to donate to good organizations that protect elephants.

 

There are two current issues:

Lift on ban on trophy hunting

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- URGENT  The Senate will be voting on the budget bill shortly.  The chance to change this ends when they approve the budget.

 

First, two links that may be helpful as you develop your message to lawmakers:

Contacting Department of Interior and US Fish and Wildlife regarding trophy hunting ban.  This link has been a bit grumpy.  It is iworry.org/action/

Contact lawmakers regarding backdoor provision to drill in ANWR

 

I recommend that you contact your state representatives and senators.  You may call or write.  

If you call, you will have a very limited time to state your position.  Be ready with a brief statement.  An example might be:

                    I am calling to express my opposition to the Department of Interior's decision to allow the import of wild animal trophies.

If you write:  I am including the body of the letter I sent, below.  While you are welcome to use any or all of this letter, I encourage you to write from the heart and tell the story you want heard.  Some tips:

  • Be succinct.  They get lots of emails every day and you want them to read yours
  • Be polite.  Don't use ALL CAPS.  Don't name call.  Don't swear.
  • Be calm.   You don't want your opinions dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.  They should know you care, but don't get overly emotional.

The reality is that a low level staffer will be reviewing this letter and will log a check mark in a column (for or against) under an issue.  If your letter is compelling, it may be raised to a more senior staffer.  If its really good, the lawmaker may see it.  Make it good enough to be seen.

 

The letter I sent is as follows.  It addresses both the drilling and trophy hunting issue.  You may want to send separate letters.

 

As citizens of the United States of America, we have the privilege, right and obligation to participate in the decisions made by our lawmakers. I am extremely disturbed by two recent actions taken in the dark without consultation of the American public or even relevant experts to properly influence the decision. 

I speak to you first of the recent Interior Department decision to allow the importation of wild animal trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. There are multiple reasons this decision is deeply flawed. 

  • Elephants are a keystone species and the health of their populations is essential to other wildlife, which ultimately impacts human populations.  As they are, additionally, considered to be endangered, each individual life is valuable to the continuation of the species.
  • The science regarding the ability of senior elephants to contribute to the population of the herd has recently shown that the elder elephants are essential to this process. Old science led us to believe that older males were reproductively senile, however, Joyce Poole’s work on musth males in Amboseli has proved that it is older bulls who are the primary breeders. These same individuals are targeted by hunters for their long tusks, and there are very few left. 
  • The metrics used to determine the stability of the elephant population in these countries are incorrect. These populations are not stable. While their numbers have increased since 1900, they are killed at a rate of over 100 per day.  Elephants also migrate across country boundaries and a snapshot within a single country is not sufficient to make a decision on the stability of the population. 
  • The instability and corruption evidenced by the Zimbabwean government and their history of flawed wildlife management should give pause to any decision to support hunting governed by this group. While the recent coup may provide an opportunity for positive change, we cannot dismiss the celebratory party of wild endangered game for the president or the shipping of large numbers of juvenile elephants to Chinese zoos. 


It is especially troubling that the Department of Interior has been quietly accepting applications for permits to import trophies for several months before announcing the change in policy.  We, your constituents, see this as an indicator of pandering to a small group of special interest individuals and organizations.

The second item I wish to draw to your attention is inclusion in the budget bill to provide for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The backdoor inclusion in a budget bill was a surprise to many Americans who actively have worked with the government to prevent this drilling from occurring or to ensure that it is done in a thoughtful. informed manner. The areas impacted provide vital nesting grounds for migratory birds and would have long range an impact on the viability of these populations as well as negatively impact local Native American populations that subsist on the caribou of the land.

I strongly oppose both of these measures and ask that you act to address them immediately.


Respectfully,

 

Michelle Guillermin

 

Want to donate?  I can vouch for each of these organizations personally.

 

https://biglife.org/donations 

https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp

https://maraelephantproject.org/donate/

https://www.spaceforgiants.org/donate/

http://www.savetheelephants.org/new-donate-page-us/

http://www.retetielephants.org