Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sportsmen's bill passes Senate test
On its last day in session before the election, the Senate tied itself in knots over 41 polar bear carcasses that hunters want to bring home from Canada as big game trophies. After punting tough decisions on far weightier issues like raising taxes and cutting spending, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., insisted that the Senate address the wide-ranging sportsmen's bill. Following the Senate's post-midnight approval of a bill funding federal agencies for six more months, senators voted 84-7 early Saturday for a motion that simply allows the sportsmen's bill to be taken up at a later time. Republicans resisted for a while Friday, contending the only reason Reid wanted the vote now on the bill long sought by hunters and sport fishermen was to benefit Democratic incumbent Jon Tester `s re-election prospects in a tossup race in Montana that could determine which party runs the Senate next year. "This isn't a campaign studio, It's the Senate," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., complained on the Senate floor Friday. "We've got responsibilities to meet. Let's meet them. And leave the politics out of it for once." The House had passed a similar bill in April that was co-sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg, Tester's Republican opponent in the Montana Senate race. In the end, Tester would get only a test vote as the Senate, yet again, punted another issue until after the election. Tester's bill combines 19 measures favorable to outdoorsmen. In addition to dealing with the polar bear hides, it would allow more hunting and fishing on federal lands, let bow hunters cross federal land where hunting isn't allowed, encourage federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges, exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead, boost fish populations and protect animal habitat...more