Uncertain times for hunter/conservationists

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2009:
Commerce Department inspector general Todd Zinser in early
March 2009 sent an administrative subpoena to the National Wildlife
Federation, demanding documents that would identify whoever leaked
information to the NWF about the plans of the George W. Bush
administration to weaken the Endangered Species Act with
administrative rules changes introduced just before leaving office.
The leak helped the NWF and other Endangered Species Act defenders to
ensure that reversing the rules changes is a high priority for the
Barack Obama administration. Zinser, appointed by Bush in November
2007, issued the unusual subpoena at request of Senator James Inhofe
of Oklahoma, the senior Republican on the U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works. The leaked documents “were not marked
sensitive, secret or otherwise confidential or classified,”
reported Associated Press writer Pete Yost.

The Nature Conservancy, ranked the 25th largest charity in
the U.S. by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, on February 11, 2009
announced a 10% staff cut. “Unfortun-ately, the recession and
subsequent declines in revenue require that we implement staff
reductions,” Nature Conservancy president Mark Tercek said in a
written statement.
Wrote Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Holly Hall, “At least
$32 million that donors had expected to give through charitable
remainder trusts, gift annuities, and other planned gifts are on
hold because of the economy, said Angela Sosdian, the Nature
Conservancy’s director of philanthropy for gift planning. That is
equivalent to the amount such gifts typically produce in an entire
Reputedly the world’s largest philanthropic land trust, the
Nature Conservancy refuses to accept gifts of property where hunting,
trapping, and fishing are not to be permitted, and purges
non-native species by methods described in 2005 by retired Channel
Islands National Park superintendent Tim J. Setnicka as “biological
The Nature Conservancy as of 2007 had annual revenues of $827
million, with financial reserves of nearly $1.7 billion.

The Sierra Club is seeking an executive director to succeed
Carl Pope. Pope announced on January 23, 2009 that he will
transition to chairperson after a new successor is hired. A Sierra
Club employee for more than 30 years, executive director since 1992,
Pope pushed policies and introduced programs meant to attract
hunters. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson in
April 2006 resigned from the Sierra Club board in protest, pointing
out that Sierra Club founder John Muir called hunting “the murder

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