Safari Club advocates for Nevada bear hunt
(AP) – Safari Club International wants to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to stop Nevada’s first black bear hunt, arguing the hunt is justified and should proceed.
The sportsmen’s group has filed a motion in state court in Carson City, asking to be included in the suit filed by a citizens group called NoBearHuntNV.org.
The motion argues the hunt is “well-reasoned and justified,” a Reno newspaper reported Thursday.
“Obviously, this is the first time Nevada has approved a bear hunt, and we think it was a good decision. We want it to go forward,” Doug Burdin, a Safari Club attorney, told the newspaper.
“This is a unique opportunity to hunt the black bear, and it hasn’t happened in the state before,” Burdin said. “It would be unfortunate if this opportunity got taken away at the last minute.”
The motion said an injunction blocking the hunt “would impair Safari Club’s interest in the sustainable use of Nevada’s wildlife.”
The hunt was approved by the Nevada Wildlife Commission in December.
Regulations authorized a quota of 45 tags and allow up to 20 bears to be killed. Of those, no more than six can be females, and the hunt would close once those limits are reached. The season would run from Aug. 20 through Dec. 31.
Critics argue wildlife commissioners gave inadequate public notices and failed to adequately consider economic impacts or the need for the hunt. The suit also contends the hunt fell under a January executive order by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval that froze proposed regulations by state agencies.
A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled Aug. 1 in Carson City.
Kathryn Bricker of Zephyr Cove, an organizer of NoBearHuntNV.org, questions whether Safari Club’s intervention is justified.
“It’s not a matter of whether they have the right to do it or not, it’s whether the procedure they followed in adopting the hunt was under the law,” Bricker said. “They’re just exercising their legal right. It’s up to the judge to decide how he feels.”
Bricker said 10,000 people have signed a petition opposing the hunt and the number is still growing.
“People are overwhelmingly against it,” Bricker said.