Text: H.R.2327 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/15/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2327


To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to strengthen polar bear conservation efforts, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 15, 2007

Mr. Inslee (for himself, Mr. LoBiondo, and Mr. Dicks) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to strengthen polar bear conservation efforts, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Polar Bear Protection Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings.—The Congress finds the following:

(1) Section 101 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1371) established a moratorium on the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products, including the importation of all sport hunted marine mammal trophies.

(2) In 1994, such section was amended to create an exemption from the moratorium, which allows the importation of sport-hunted polar bear trophies from Canada.

(3) This exemption has had the effect of increasing Canadian polar bear mortalities from United States sport hunters.

(4) Polar bears have low reproductive rates, have long lives, and rely on high adult survival rates to maintain population numbers. In addition, polar bear populations are under stress from climate change and habitat degradation.

(5) In July 2005, the World Conservation Union Polar Bear Specialist Group released its quadrennial report, in which it reviewed the status of polar bears and concluded that the species should be upgraded from “a species of least concern” to “vulnerable”, based on the “likelihood of an overall decline in the size of the total population of more than 30 percent within the next 35 to 50 years”.

(6) Based on threats posed to polar bears, on December 27, 2006, the Department of the Interior proposed that polar bears be listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as threatened species.

(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act are the following:

(1) To ensure that citizens of the United States do not contribute to polar bear mortalities in Canada by removing the exemption in that Act that allows for the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits to United States trophy hunters for the importation of polar bear trophies from Canada.

(2) To heed the warnings of the Department of the Interior and the World Conservation Union Polar Bear Specialist Group that polar bears are at risk and could become endangered, by prohibiting such importation.

(3) To further the goals of the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, to which all five nations with polar bears within their borders are a party.

SEC. 3. Amendments to prohibit importation of polar bears and polar bear parts.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 is amended—

(1) in section 101(a)(1) (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(1)) by—

(A) striking “, or for importation of polar bear parts (other than internal organs) taken in sport hunts in Canada.” and inserting “. No permit may be issued under this Act for the importation of polar bear parts taken in a sport hunt.”;

(B) striking “, except permits issued under section 104(c)(5),”; and

(C) striking “, other than importation under section 104(c)(5),”;

(2) in section 104(c) (16 U.S.C. 1374(c))—

(A) in paragraph (2)(E), by striking “paragraph (10)” and inserting “paragraph (9)”;

(B) in paragraph (8)(B)(ii), by striking “paragraph (10)” and inserting “paragraph (9)”;

(C) by striking paragraph (5); and

(D) by redesignating (6) through (10) as paragraphs (5) through (9); and

(3) in section 104(e)(1) (16 U.S.C. 1374(e)(1))—

(A) in subparagraph (A), by inserting “or” after the comma at the end;

(B) in subparagraph (B), by striking “, or” and inserting a period; and

(C) by striking subparagraph (C).