Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Trump Wildlife Services Appointee Worked for Trophy Hunting Lobby for 20 Years

Politics
New Trump Wildlife Services Appointee Worked for Trophy Hunting Lobby for 20 Years
A former lawyer for a trophy hunting group now works at Fish and Wildlife Service. Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's controversial trophy hunting council may have been disbanded, but trophy hunters and their advocates still have influence at the Department of the Interior.


Anna Seidman, former lawyer for pro-hunting group Safari Club International (SCI), is now the assistant director of the Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) International Affairs program, HuffPost reported Friday.

During her 20 years of work for SCI, Seidman sued FWS several times and testified before Congress that hunters should have greater access to Alaskan wildlife, according to Earther. But she will now be in charge of a program designed to protect endangered species around the world.

"I'm not quite sure how this will happen with someone in charge who's advocated against stripping creatures of these protections," Earther's Yessenia Funes wrote.

Funes pointed out that Seidman's appointment is in keeping with other Trump administration hiring decisions, such as the choice of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Seidman's new boss David Bernhardt was also a controversial hire who has so many conflicts of interests he has to keep a notecard on hand to keep track of them.

In an email to HuffPost, an FWS spokesperson called Siedman "an effective, innovative leader with 20 years of legal and policy experience, including expertise in international environment and natural resource management."

Those 20 years were gained at SCI, where Siedman worked from 1999 to 2019 as director of legal advocacy and international affairs, according to her LinkedIn profile.

But SCI's influence in the Trump administration predates Siedman. Bernhardt, in addition to lobbying on behalf of oil and gas interests, also counted SCI's sister organization Safari Club International Foundation as a former client, HuffPost reported. SCI donated $11,000 to Trump's 2016 campaign and was one of the lobbying forces behind the rule change allowing the importation of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. It also auctioned off a hunting trip with Donald Trump Jr. in February, and SCI President Paul Babaz was a member of administration's disbanded trophy-hunting council, according to The Hill.

SCI was founded in 1972 and has more than 50,000 members. It bills itself as "protecting hunters' rights and promoting wildlife conservation," according to HuffPost.

But a 2015 report from the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International found that the group had contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of animals in its 60 years of hunting contests, CBS News reported. That includes 2,000 lions, 1,800 leopards, nearly 800 elephants and 93 black rhinos, the report found.

Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, aka the doomsday glacier, is seen here in 2014. NASA / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Scientists have maneuvered an underwater robot beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" for the first time, and the resulting data is not reassuring.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Journalists film a protest by the environmental organization BUND at the Datteln coal-fired power plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on April 23, 2020. Bernd Thissen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Lead partners of a global consortium of news outlets that aims to improve reporting on the climate emergency released a statement on Monday urging journalists everywhere to treat their coverage of the rapidly heating planet with the same same level of urgency and intensity as they have the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Airborne microplastics are turning up in remote regions of the world, including the remote Altai mountains in Siberia. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images

Scientists consider plastic pollution one of the "most pressing environmental and social issues of the 21st century," but so far, microplastic research has mostly focused on the impact on rivers and oceans.

Read More Show Less
A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China on Oct. 7, 2010. Jie Zhao / Corbis via Getty Images

By Michel Penke

More than every second person in the world now has a cellphone, and manufacturers are rolling out bigger, better, slicker models all the time. Many, however, have a bloody history.

Read More Show Less