The Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act) (H.R 2406) is a group of multiple bills that revise existing programs in order to "protect the traditional right of American sportsmen to fish and hunt", "expanding access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting."
The SHARE Act would:
Allow the corpses of polar bears that are hunted in Canada to be imported into the U.S as "trophies". Now more than ever, the polar bear population is in grave danger. When the polar bear was being considered as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, 41 hunters raced to Canada in search of one final trophy, each slaughtering one polar bear. As they were unable to get their import approved before the polar bear was listed on the ESA, they were not allow to import their trophies into the US. Allowing these "sportsmen" to import their trophy bears would only demonstrate Congress' leniency and lead hunters to believe that they can get away with killing an endangered animal if they just wait long enough. This can also have a huge impact on other species that are candidates for ESA protection, as hunters will want to go after one final trophy, knowing they might just get away with it.
Allow for the use of lead ammunition, which can cause lead intoxication. Lead primarily affects the developing brain and nervous system. Upon impact, a lead bullet shatters into millions of tiny fragments.This way, lead can be ingested by an animal (ex. the California Condor) or reach water ways (as runoff or seepage) and contaminate water supplies, which can have terrible results. An example of this is the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. People in Flint, Michigan have to use bottled water for everything from cooking to bathing because of the presence of lead in their water.
Prevent the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service from restricting illegal ivory trade. Elephants are facing a crisis thanks to the demand for the ivory tusks. With the SHARE Act, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service would be blocked from completing their efforts to shut down any loopholes that allows ivory to enter the commercial market, meaning the elephants are in serious trouble.
Open protected lands to hunters, with no restriction on how animals can be captured. The SHARE Act would allow hunters to trap animals in land that is "open unless closed" without taking into consideration the people who go to these public lands to enjoy, rather than kill, the wildlife. It does not restrict the methods of trapping that hunters can use, which means that cruel traps such as wire snares and leg holds, that are highly non-selective (meaning they do not target a specific animal, allowing unintended creatures to fall victims to the traps) can be used.
Leave other animals vulnerable and unprotected. Elephants are not the only ones who could be in trouble if the SHARE Act is passed. The SHARE Act would strip gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming Region from their protection under the Endangered Species Act, leaving them available to hunters to trapping and killing.
The SHARE Act is a cruel accommodation for a small amount of people at the expense of wildlife, the environment, and the rest of the people who want to enjoy the great outdoors. It represents significant regression from the efforts already made to protect nature and its wildlife, such as elephants and wolves.