Free Legal Aid to Import 2015 Tanzania Elephant Trophies

(posted June 23, 2015)

If you are a US hunter planning to hunt elephant in Tanzania, you will want to know about the free legal services from Conservation Force to help you import your trophy. Conservation Force Chairman and President John J. Jackson, III has pioneered import permits for various species and has offered to assist anyone who takes an elephant in Tanzania in 2015 apply for an import permit from US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

While USFWS has not yet made its findings for import of elephant hunting trophies from Tanzania for 2015, when it does, it will be subject to administrative appeal. That means anyone with a pending permit application will be able to challenge that decision and provide information to change it. However, that requires specialized knowledge and access to data to satisfy the requirements to obtain an import permit. Conservation Force is offering both as well as their skills in legal procedures in order to help Tanzania regain the contributions of tourist safari hunting for conservation of the elephant.

Since the Tanzania elephant embargo was implemented in April 2014, Conservation Force has been working with Tanzania to provide the information USFSW requires to lift the embargo. Jackson and his staff have narrowed the issues preventing trophy imports by researching and providing the agency with information and then further refining its research based on the more detailed responses from USFWS. They also worked with Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to respond to USFWS questions. By assisting with the filing of trophy import permits for hunts taking place in 2015, Conservation Force remains in a position to address the nuanced requirements of USFWS and eventually lift the embargo. Assisting with filing permit applications also allows Conservation Force to build a permanent “administrative record” that may be used in the courts and by Congress. The permitting process allows Conservation Force various opportunities under the law to present and argue evidence both in writing and orally before the Director and others up and down the USFWS chain of command. It is a technique that has worked for Conservation Force for the past 25 years starting with the first closure of elephant hunting trophy imports in 1989.

“Over the years we have represented some of the greatest hunters in the world who have lent their names and hunting ambitions to us to reopen or pioneer import permits for different species,” says Jackson. “It is a daunting task that takes real commitment, dedication and resolve. But it is a measurable target with measurable results, not smoke and mirrors.”

By addressing the remaining issues identified by USFWS in their responses to applications, Jackson says imports can be reopened and hunting can regain its place as a force for elephant conservation. “While every regulatory requirement is an impasse, the fulfillment of that requirement is documented proof of conservation,” he says.

US hunters taking an elephant in Tanzania in 2015 should contact Jackson (cf@conservationforce.org) or Conservation Force staff attorney Regina Lennox (regina.lennox@conservationforce.org. You may also call 504-837-1233 or send your inquiry to Conservation Force at 3240 S. I-10 Service Rd. W., Suite 200, Metairie, LA 70001-6911. Jackson and Lennox will do all the work. All you need to do is provide your full identification and contact information, hunting operator and contact information and the date and place of your hunt. – Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief

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