Sending Office: Honorable Donald S. Beyer, Jr.
Please join us in sending the below letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke expressing concern about the misguided plan to form an “International Wildlife Conservation Council” to promote trophy killing and urging him to abandon it.
Trophy hunting rare species is unethical, unpopular, and of questionable conservation value. Yet, this council is intended to promote this activity and advance the agenda of a miniscule subset of wealthy hobbyists who find entertainment in killing endangered
The majority of Americans want to see international wildlife valued and protected via nonlethal methods. In fact, 86% of Americans oppose hunting big game.
To sign on and oppose this council aimed at promoting the killing of rare wildlife, please contact Kenzie Landa at
Donald S. Beyer Jr. Raúl Grijalva
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dear Secretary Zinke,
We, the undersigned members of Congress, write today to express our deep concern about your misguided idea to form a new “International Wildlife Conservation Council” to promote trophy killing and urge you to abandon it. The stated goal of this council is
to boost public awareness of the “benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting;” however, trophy hunting is unethical, unpopular, and of questionable conservation value in many cases. Further, this council is a
poor use of taxpayer dollars. The few wealthy hobbyists who can afford to fly around the world for the sole purpose of killing endangered animals do not need to be subsidized by the many Americans who love these iconic and imperiled species but can only dream
of seeing them anywhere other than at the zoo or on the Discovery Channel.
This council is not actually intended to promote conservation. Instead, it is intended to rationalize the behavior and advance the agenda of a miniscule subset of the uber-rich who find entertainment in killing rare wildlife. The suggestion that this council
would help us confront poaching and wildlife trafficking is laughable: the Administration has already abandoned other, more legitimate and effective efforts to address these issue. For instance, the Trump administration has not held a meeting of the Wildlife
Trafficking Advisory Council or the Federal Interagency Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking created by President Obama.
It is not only shortsighted but also disingenuous to elevate trophy hunting above other tools that have proven more valuable and effective for wildlife conservation and economic development. An analysis by Economists at Large found that, overall, trophy
hunting accounts for less than 2 percent of tourism revenues in Africa. Photo safaris, in comparison, allow for sustainable, lucrative tourism activity in which the animals can be “reused” rather than killed.
Furthermore, the Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that “new advisory committees should be established only when they are determined to be essential and their number should be kept to the minimum necessary.” This council is not essential, and its function
is already covered by the very broad mandate of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. The proposed makeup of this new council also concerns us, with designated seats for representatives of the firearms and ammunition industries, who have
no scientific or conservation expertise.
Most Americans want to see international wildlife valued and protected via nonlethal methods. In fact, 86% of Americans oppose hunting big game (HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll), clearly indicating that this proposed council is not in the public interest.
As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to ensure that the wishes of the majority of wildlife-loving Americans are upheld and that our government promotes the best global conservation policies. We urge the USFWS to dismantle its plans for the International
Wildlife Conservation Council.
 Economists at Large, 2013.
The $200 million question: How much does trophy hunting really contribute to African communities?, a report for the African Lion Coalition, prepared by Economists at Large, Melbourne, Australia. <https://www.ifaw.org/sites/default/files/Ecolarge-2013-200m-question.pdf>
 HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll, 2015.
Americans Oppose Big Game Hunting…More Than Six in Ten Favor Legal Ban. Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. <http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/us151001/Sports/HBO%20Real%20Sports_Marist%20Poll_Complete%20Survey%20Findings_November%202015.pdf>
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