A step backwards in time

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

WILDLIFF conservation in the us received a jolt after the [louse of Representatives passed on April 24, what has been mis- named as the National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act. For it seeks to do precisely the opposite. One of its notorious features is that it allows the country's 500 odd nature reserves to open their doors to more'recrcational' activities like hunting, fishing and water sports including boating. Further, while hunting and fishing were allowed before, refuge managers were required to ensure that these activities did not endanger the goal of wildlife protection.

Now, however, the bill gives equal footing to both conservation and recreation activities which, in the words of Robert Dewey of the Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental group, "represents a serious setback to species conservation". The bill has now been passed to the Senate where it could face some stiff opposition. The Clinton administration has been vociferous in its criticism of the bill. Bruce Babbitt, the interior secretary said that he would recommend President Clinton to veto the legislation if it is passed in the Senate.

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