Question for you. How Long will you allow our Elected Officials to Ignore Your Protections under the Public Trust before you Join Us to begin to put Conflicts of Interest, Special Interest participating on Advisory Groups to name a few into Court? We have the Research to begin to put a stop to it. We have The ATTORNEYS, the research, the Passion, The Religious Rights, The Trust Research, the only thing missing is 57,500 paid members. Our President has trampled our Environment enough. It is Time we assemble to put a stop to State Agencies, Fish and Game, Advisory Groups. Please for your resources, Join the Howl that will be heard the World Over!
WASHINGTON — A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Donald Trump and his family.
A review by The Associated Press of the backgrounds and social media posts of the 16 board members appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke indicates they will agree with his position that the best way to protect critically threatened or endangered species is by encouraging wealthy Americans to shoot some of them.
One appointee co-owns a private New York hunting preserve with Trump’s adult sons. The oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., drew the ire of animal rights activists after a 2011 photo emerged of him holding a bloody knife and the severed tail of an elephant he killed in Zimbabwe.
The first meeting of the International Wildlife Conservation Council was scheduled for Friday at the Interior Department’s headquarters in Washington. Council members aren’t being paid a salary, though the department has budgeted $250,000 in taxpayer funds for travel expenses, staff time and other costs.
CONNECTIONS TO TRUMP
Among Zinke’s appointees is Steven Chancellor, a longtime Republican fundraiser and chairman of American Patriot Group, an Indiana-based conglomerate that includes a company that supplies Meals Ready to Eat to the U.S. military.
According to Safari Club member hunting records obtained in 2015 by the Humane Society, Chancellor has logged nearly 500 kills — including at least 18 lions, 13 leopards, six elephants and two rhinos.
In early 2016, records show Chancellor filed for a federal permit to bring home the skin, skull teeth and claws from another male lion he intended to kill that year in Zimbabwe, which at the time was subject to an import ban imposed by the Obama administration.
Later that same year, Chancellor hosted a private fundraiser for then-candidate Trump and Mike Pence at his Evansville, Indiana, mansion, where the large security gates leading up the driveway feature a pair of gilded lions.
Chancellor did not respond to a phone message seeking comment on Thursday.
In the fight to win approval for imports of lions from Zimbabwe, Chancellor was represented by Conservation Force, a non-profit law firm in Louisiana. It was founded by John Jackson III, a lawyer and past Safari Club president who also has been appointed to the advisory council by Zinke.
Chris Hudson, a lawyer and past president of the Dallas chapter of the Safari Club, also was appointed. He made headlines in 2014 when the club auctioned off a permit for $350,000 to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia. Hudson later joined with Jackson in providing legal representation to the winning bidder, who sued Delta after the airline refused to fly the rhino’s carcass back to the United States.
Appointees include professional hunters. Peter Horn is an ex-vice president of the Safari Club International Conservation Fund and a vice president for high-end gun-maker Beretta. He runs the company’s boutique in Manhattan, where well-heeled clients can drop as much as $150,000 for a hand-engraved, custom-made shotgun.
Horn wrote in his 2014 memoir that he co-owns a hunting property in upstate New York with Trump Jr. that has a 500-yard range “put together” by Eric Trump.
The AP reported last month that the Trump sons were behind a limited-liability company that purchased a 171-acre private hunting range in the bucolic Hudson Valley in 2013, complete with a wooden tower from which owners and their guests shoot at exploding targets.
Horn did not respond to a message seeking comment.