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Posted: 3/26/2002 4:46:47 PM EDT
SPORTSMEN WIN, SIERRA CLUB LOSES IN COURT BATTLES . . . A Michigan court has ruled against the Sierra Club in its lawsuit challenging the use of sportsmen-generated funding for wildlife management and habitat restoration programs in the state. The anti-hunting group had sued the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over a number of land management issues including forestry practices that benefit such game species as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and ruffed grouse as well as various non-game animals. The thrust of the suit sought to undermine Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal funding distributed to the states for their wildlife programs that include hunting, fishing and trapping. The funds are raised through excise taxes paid by sportsmen on sporting arms, ammunition and fishing gear. The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation (USSAF) (formerly the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America) helped lead the court fight against the Sierra Club effort. "This victory protects hunting programs for all sportsmen and will go far toward curbing the spread of these cases in other states," commented USSAF Vice President Rick Story. Other groups involved in fighting the litigation were the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Ruffed Grouse Society. In 1996, WLFA also prevailed over the Sierra Club in a similar suit challenging the use of Pittman-Robertson funds for a moose management program in Vermont.
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