SACRAMENTO — As of Friday morning, May 18, SB 1221 had still not been brought up for a vote on the Senate Floor by the bill's author, Senator Ted Lieu (D-Redondo Beach).
The bill, which is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), would prohibit the hunting of bears and bobcats with dogs and lead to further encroachments on scientific wildlife management by the Department of Fish and Game and California Fish and Game Commission.
Rather, SB 1221 would take wildlife management decisions out of the hands of those specially-trained biologists and scientists who set the laws, and leave it up to politically motivated politicians and special interest groups.
It appears as though Senator Lieu may be having a hard time garnering enough votes to pass the bill — due primarily to huge protests by hunters, fishermen, dog owners and others who see the bill as simply one more move to stop hunting in California.
According to Bill Gaines, President of California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA), "The outcry of opposition from all corners of the hunting community and others who care about science-based wildlife management has truly been impressive. Many at the Capitol have said that they have never seen so much public response on a bill — and I must agree. People are aware that this bill is not just about the hunting of bears. They know that this measure is a direct attack on the future of hunting and the bill must be stopped. Truly, when it comes to this measure, we cannot sleep."
The bill may have come up for a vote by the time this issue of Western Outdoor News is in your hands, but if not, keep up the pressure.