Proton turned out to be trouble maker who has been banned for a variety of reasons after only a whopping 2 days on the forum. Good riddance.
"...a buzzard's gotta eat just like worms." Josey Wales (1976 Clint Eastwood movie)
"A Folding Blade is a Bleeding Finger" - Zzyzzogeton
Beckerhead #346 KaBar Krew #17
It is not legal to sell elephant and mammoth ivory in New York and New Jersey.
2015 bills pending:
California – AB 96
Massachusetts – SB 440 / HB 1275 – SB has been stuck in committee since April – HB has been stuck in committee since March
District of Columbia – B 251 – just introduced on 6/15/15 – still in committee
2015 bills defeated:
1) Arkansas – SB 928 – defeated – never made it out of committee
2) Connecticut - HB 5470 / HB 5700 / HB 5718 / HB 5731 / HB 6955 – defeated – never made it out of committee
3) Delaware – SB 156 – defeated for 2015, but will carry over to 2016 – never made it out of committee
4) Florida - SB1120 – defeated – never made it out of committee
5) Hawaii - SB 674/HB 837 – defeated for 2015, but will carry over to 2016 – never made it out of committee, so failed crossover deadline
6) Illinois - SB1858 – defeated – never made it out of committee
7) Iowa - SB 30 – defeated for 2015, but will carry over to 2016 – never made it out of committee
8) Maryland - HB 713 – defeated – never made it out of committee
9) Michigan – HB 4509/SB 371 – defeated – never made it out of committee
10) Nevada - SB 398 – defeated – never made it out of committee
11) Oklahoma – HB 1787 – defeated in 2015, but will carry over to 2016 – never made it out of committee
12) Oregon – S 913 – defeated – passed Senate – House committee sent it into a work session and it never made it out
13) Rhode Island – H 5660 – defeated – committee sent for further study and nothing transpired
14) Vermont - HB 297 – defeated – never made it out of committee
15) Virginia - SB 1215 – defeated – as assigned to committee and then stricken from the docket
16) Washington – SB 5241/HB 1131 – defeated for 2015, but will carry over to 2016 – never made it out of committee
17) Georgia – defeated - never received a bill number
18) New York bill defeated that would outlaw the ownership of elephant ivory.
You can help protect the use of legal ivory, here's how
Senate Bill Would Protect Ivory Owners and African Elephants
Senators Daines (R-MT) and Alexander (R-TN) introduced S 1769, the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015. Companion legislation to HR 697 in the House of Representatives, this bill would end the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s unilateral moratorium on the importation, exportation and sale of lawfully possessed ivory. It also strengthens measures to stop elephant poaching in Africa and punishes countries that smuggle illicit ivory. Write To Your Senators asking them to co-sponsor this bill.
The legislation would allow:
• Lawfully possessed, raw or worked ivory to be imported or exported, purchased or sold for museum displays and personal use;
• The Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to place a U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement officer in each African country with significant elephant populations;
• The Secretary of the Interior to certify any country found to be a significant transit or destination point under the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen’s Protective Act;
• The continued importation of sport-hunted elephant trophies from populations listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species;
• For the reauthorization of appropriations of not more than $5 million for each of the years 2016-2020, and for these funds to be prioritized for projects designed to facilitate the acquisition of equipment and training of wildlife officials in ivory producing countries for anti-poaching efforts.
The bill would prevent USFWS from promulgating or enforcing regulations designed to criminalize ownership or commercial use of African elephant ivory that has been legally imported into the United States. It would do away with impossible documentation requirements imposed by USFWS Director’s Order 210, and it would shift the burden of proof that ivory was illegally imported back to the government.
At the same time, this bill would strengthen USFWS’s ability to stop elephant poaching in Africa. Instead of punishing innocent Americans with a domestic ivory ban, an absurdly indirect attempt to change attitudes in China about illicit ivory, this bill focuses on fighting poachers in Africa to save elephants. The bill authorizes placement of USFWS law enforcement officers in each African elephant range country. That officer would assist local wildlife rangers protect African elephants and help apprehend those who illegally kill or assist in the illegal killing of African elephants.
To further protect elephants and punish countries that import poached ivory, the bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to certify to the President any country that, directly or indirectly, is a significant transit or destination point for illegal ivory trade. Doing so would trigger other appropriate diplomatic and legal responses that pressure law breaking countries to stop violating international law and fueling the African elephant poaching problem. The bill also requires the secretary to prioritize projects in support of this law in the Secretary’s annual budget.
Ask your senators to support S 1769 by cosponsoring this bill! Write To Your Senators The more Senators who co-sponsor and support this bill, the more likely it is that the bill will be packaged with other legislation and become law.
Appropriations Bill Language to Protect
Lawful Ivory Owners Wins Key House Vote
Senate Bill Introduced to Protect Legal Ivory
By a vote of 244-183, the U.S. House last week defeated an amendment that would have stripped out language in the FY2016 Interior Appropriations bill that protects the interstate commerce of lawfully owned products containing ivory, including knives with ivory handles or embellishment. This is ivory that has been legally in the U.S. for decades, having been imported prior to the implementation of the already existing ivory import bans. It would have no effect on the existing import bans which remain in place.
This was a very important vote for all those involved in the coalition working to protect lawfully owned ivory in this country. It sends a message to the Administration that there is significant and meaningful opposition to its efforts to irrationally and unconstitutionally punish lawful U.S. ivory owners in its politically motivated effort to ban ivory trade in the U.S., which will have no impact on the international trade in poached ivory. Whether the FY2016 Interior Appropriations bill actually moves forward is another question entirely, as other controversial issues have currently stalled this bill.
However, this is just one of the efforts in Congress to address the ivory ban issue. Another is the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 H.R.697, a bipartisan bill to protect lawful ivory owners and advance conservation efforts in Africa that was introduced in the House in February. The Senate companion bill S.1769 was filed yesterday by Senators Steve Daines and Lamar Alexander. Sen. Daines had sponsored this bill last session as a House member; Sen. Alexander was last session's Senate sponsor.
"It's senseless that the administration wants to retroactively penalize Montanans who have legally owned ivory-containing antique firearms, musical instruments and other family heirlooms for years before this new rule was even drafted," Daines stated. "This legislation will protect millions of law-abiding Americans from the Obama administration's overreach and ensure that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's focus is fixed on stopping poachers and those who are violating our laws - not punishing antique collectors and musicians."
"The Administration's plan to limit the trade of legal ivory - such as that found in legally produced guitars, pianos, and firearms - could prohibit musicians from buying or selling instruments that contain ivory, prevent firearms and family heirlooms containing ivory from being sold, and pose a significant threat to the antique business," Alexander said. "I don't support treating musicians, antique shops and firearms sellers like illegal ivory smugglers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife should take these concerns seriously as it considers changing how ivory is regulated."
Please CALL or EMAIL your Representative and Senators and ask them to Co-Sponsor the African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015 (H.R. 697 or S.1769, respectively) to protect both elephants and Americans.
You can find your U.S. legislators and send them all an email here: www.democracy.io
Knife Rights abhors the poaching of all species. The proven solution is to attack poaching at the source, not punish lawful ivory owners in the U.S. who cannot have any effect on poaching. Successful anti-poaching programs have demonstrated that an integrated comprehensive approach that encourages the locals to fight poaching does work. This is the sort of solution that should be expanded and encouraged by the U.S. and by all who really want to end poaching.
When we are allowed the opportunity to explain the facts involved and the reality of the illicit trade in elephant ivory, in which Americans have virtually no involvement whatsoever, we have a good chance of changing the minds of legislators who have been mislead by emotionally charged, politically and financially motivated efforts to ban legal ivory that's been in the country for decades.
Final Week To Submit Comments Opposing Federal Ivory Ban
Comments are due on Monday, September 28, 2015, to oppose the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposed Rule Change that would implement a domestic ivory ban. So far over 1,200 comments have been submitted. Many are from people who make simplistic statements supporting elephants or repeat slogans from NGOs to ban ivory. Many others are thoughtful comments explaining why the proposed rule punishes innocent Americans without doing anything to stop poaching in Africa.
Your comment should be personal and specific. It should demand FWS either withdraw the proposed rule change entirely or publish another major revision correcting its many errors for notice and comment again. Form letter comments are not as useful as individual comments. Depending on whether you are an owner, collector or business that trades objects made with ivory, following are some suggestions for you to include in your comments:
• The Proposed Rule Change is arbitrary and capricious. It punishes people who trade in ivory that was legally imported decades ago which has nothing to do with recent African elephant poaching. The government should focus resources on stopping poachers in Africa and prosecuting criminals who smuggle ivory to Asia if it wants to stop elephant poaching. Punishing innocent Americans who own or trade ivory that was legally brought to this country before the poaching crisis has no rational relationship to poaching African elephants, so the Proposed Rule Change violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
• FWS misrepresented data and studies about ivory in the United States. CITES data shows that hundreds of tons of illegal ivory flows to China and Asia, but almost none of it comes to the United States. Even Dan Stiles, an expert FWS relied upon in the Proposed Rule Change, submitted a comment pointing out how FWS has misrepresented his research. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documen...2013-0091-0415 The legal system in place before February 2014 was working in the United States, and government prosecutions show that they were capable of investigating and successfully prosecuting the few people who break the law. Creating a new class of criminals from people who trade otherwise legal ivory will waste resources, distract from actual poachers and smugglers, and unfairly persecute people who abided by international trade bans that were already in place. Along with creating bad policy, FWS's misuse of data violates the Information Quality Act.
• FWS’s claim that less than 2% of ivory sales will be impacted by this ban is nonsense. Here you should describe how the ban impacts your business or collection individually. Conclude by stating that this ban falls almost entirely on small businesses, so the FWS certification in the proposed rule that it would not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is false, as is their finding under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act that there is not a disproportionate impact for small or large businesses.
• The exceptions in the Proposed Rule are useless and do not adequately allow legal and legitimate commerce as directed in Executive Order 13648 on Combating Wildlife Trafficking in July 2013. To qualify for any exception, a person would need to provide documentation about import, sales and transfers that was not required in the past, so it was never created. FWS set retroactive documentation requirements very high and undermines all of the exceptions by placing an unachievable burden on legal ivory owners. The agency also fails to describe documentation burdens with specificity, so even if an owner or business has some documentation about an ivory item, he or she cannot be certain whether documentation is adequate.
These are suggestions that you can adopt or add to as you see fit. You need to submit comments online by 11:59 PM September 28 at http://www.regulations.gov. Once at the website, search FWS-HQ-IA-2013-0091 which will bring you to Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Proposed Rule: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Rule; Revision. Follow the instructions on screen for submitting comments. When submitting comments, you can either identify yourself or type “Anonymous” in the required name fields. You can also view comments already submitted at this website. If you must submit comments by mail, send them to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-IA-2013-0091; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC; Falls Church, VA 22041. FWS does not accept comments by e-mail or fax.
At the time I am writing this, it is not legal to sell elephant or mammoth ivory in New York and New Jersey. It is not legal to sell any kind of ivory in California and it is not legal to sell elephant ivory in Washington state.
I believe Abalone shells are illegal to use for knives in CA as well.
I have also heard that Abalone shells are illegal for use in knives in California too... I haven't been able to find the actual law prohibiting it yet.
Fight Fake News About Ivory to Turn Around Ivory Ban
As the year comes to a close, the Elephant Protection Association leadership has taken stock of how far we have come and how far we still have to go. We believe it is past time to correct the "fake news" that surrounds ivory in the U.S.
We all know how widespread the falsehoods are, and unfortunately most people do not check the facts before believing and sharing them. The more these untruths are repeated and not corrected, the more easily they are believed. Lets you and I be the voice of truth and reason.
We've all heard the lies...
Illegal ivory is being imported and distributed across America because of our legal market... Each piece of ivory represents a poached elephant... 30,000 elephants a year are belting slaughtered and all elephants are endangered and elephants will be extinct in a decade.
The truth is... The Domestic Ivory Ban is penalizing law-abiding Americans without helping African Elephants. In fact, that and other potential world-wide bans will do more harm to elephants than good, for reasons we explain below.
Together we can push back by getting the truth out there. Calling your legislators is a good start (you can find them on our website, www.elephantprotection.org), but having an article or letter read by hundreds or thousands of people is much more effective. It doesn't have to be a national publication. It can be your local antiques group, rotary club, Elks Lodge... you get the point.
Most of these outlets are starving for news and articles. Start there, but don't stop there. Your local newspapers and magazines need the truth too. Submit article to them as well and make sure to send letters to the editor when they print lies the other side tells.
Some facts... African elephant poaching peaked in 2011, coinciding with the global market peak for commodity prices that followed the global financial crisis. Investors shifted from plummeting property values and stock markets to raw material and luxury commodities - including ivory. Since that time, elephant poaching has been on the decline. That was the conclusion of internationally recognized elephant expert Dr. Daniel Stiles who led a research team with a New Zealander resource economist, Zimbabwean African elephant specialist and Chinese data collector. They prepared a report funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society, but the WCS disassociated themselves from that report because it did not advance their narratives promoting ivory bans.
Fact... It is not "insatiable consumer demand" for worked ivory that has caused the elephant poaching crisis. It is speculators, mainly Chinese, investing in raw ivory, made much more valuable by the CITES ivory international trade ban. Creating scarcity of a commodity raises its price.
Fact... Cutting off legal ivory supply has created the elephant poaching crisis.
Recently, the IUCN African Elephant Database published its 2016 update of elephant numbers in Africa. Between the survey numbers and extrapolations made about areas they did not survey, they estimated there are between 395,317 and 570,000 elephants living wild in Africa. Other than showing elephants are not currently in danger of extinction, that number standing alone does not say very much because past estimates on the number of elephants in Africa have been based far more on estimates and models than actual counts.
The most significant aspect of this compilation of surveys, which is consistent with every estimate made about elephant populations in Africa, is how elephants are distributed in Africa. In West, Central and East Africa where countries like Kenya already criminalize practically any commercial use of elephants, the numbers of elephants have plummeted. Kenya alone has lost anywhere from 60-80% of its elephant population in the last 40 years or so, and it is one of the more stable countries in the region.
On the other hand, populations in Southern Africa have flourished. Countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe have maintained large and growing populations of elephants with relatively small government expense. They do this by allowing regulated hunting and commercial use of elephants (technically called "sustainable use"), and they regularly seek international approval to sell ivory from naturally fallen elephants in order to support their wildlife reserves and other conservation programs. In fact, the herds of elephants in this region are growing too large for their habitat, so without continued support they will likely decrease due to thirst, starvation or disease.
Ivory is important to elephant conservation because it is a byproduct of large herds of healthy elephants. Mankind has used ivory for millennia because of its unique properties for use in art, music and other industries. Legally obtained ivory is valuable and the proceeds from it can be used to encourage local communities to support and protect the species. That is how programs in Zimbabwe and South Africa have succeeded.
Banning all trade of ivory deprives countries who want to see elephant populations grow of necessary resources to fund that growth. Bans in countries where elephants are truly in danger of extinction makes sense, as it does in countries that willfully smuggle and fund exploitation of poached ivory. However, a world-wide ban strips countries with successful programs of needed resources and eliminates incentives for countries with already depleted populations to try to increase populations.
Ivory bans are backward-looking policies designed to play on people's emotions concerning already-slaughtered elephants. They are reactionary and do nothing to promote new growth in populations where elephants have been lost. However, there's a reason that organizations promote them heavily. They are extremely effective fund-raisers for non-governmental organizations that manipulate people's love of animals. They are not, however, a sustainable means for achieving a balance between wild animals and the people who live with them. Instead, global ivory bans reduce elephants to local nuisances which encourage poaching. Bans are a disincentive to protecting elephants!
The only pro-active suggestion that ivory ban proponents make is to promote wildlife tourism in Africa. Unfortunately, tourism alone is not enough. If it was enough alone, we would not have a reduction in the number of elephants today. Instead, the "tourism will fix it" attitude propagates the naïve and sometimes racist approach of treating Africa like one big wildlife theme park instead of recognizing the diversity of Africa's landscape, political institutions, traditions. It ignores and belittles the African people's need to develop and manage their own resources to help raise them out of poverty.
The Elephant Protection Association recognizes the need for incentives and disincentives - carrots and sticks - to conserve and sustain wildlife. Ivory bans in places like the United States, where there is no significant importation of poached ivory, punishes innocent people who own ivory items made long before the recent surge in elephant poaching without helping elephants in the short term, and very well may condemn them in the long term.
Elephant Protection Association
P.S. - Recent reports that Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be the next Secretary of the Interior is good news. You can check out how she is rated by a wide variety of groups at https://votesmart.org/candidate/eval...s#.WE7uArIrJhF along with specifics of her voting record. In a nutshell, Animal Rights groups like HSUS give her very low ratings (11%), while groups like Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance rate her highly (100%). This is consistent with pro-sustainable use and pro-small business policies we expect to see from Trump administration leadership.
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