NY Times article states USFWS has opened the way for elephant and lion trophy imports. This is great news and SCI and NRA both fought hard in court for this. Regards, Philip https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/science/trump-elephant-trophy-hunting.html U.S. Lifts Ban on Some Elephant and Lion Trophies The United States has moved to allow hunters to import big-game trophies, including elephant tusks and lion hides, acquired in certain African countries with approvals granted on an individual basis. The decision, reported in a memorandum published last week by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, overturns an Obama-era ban on some trophies and contradicts public statements by President Trump, who had endorsed the restrictions. In November, agency officials moved to lift the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The new policy supersedes and broadens that decision, officials said. Traditionally, the agency has considered imports of trophies from certain endangered species on a nation-by-nation basis. The Endangered Species Act stipulates that in order for such trophies to be approved, exporting countries must demonstrate that hunting enhances survival of a particular species in the wild — by reinvesting the money into conservation, for example, and by supporting local communities. In December, however, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that officials had implemented the Obama-era bans without following regulatory procedures, including a failure to open up the decision to public comment. To accommodate that court decision, officials said the Fish and Wildlife Service will change how it evaluates imports for certain endangered species across Africa — not just elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, the subject of the circuit court ruling. Rather than evaluate lion, elephant and bontebok (a type of antelope) trophies on a nation-by-nation basis, the agency now will consider imports of these animals from six African countries on case-by-case basis, as it already does with the majority of species hunted on the continent. The six countries are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The new policy does not mean that all trophies will be automatically permitted, officials said. The applicants will have to meet the same conservation and sustainability requirements as before. The decision was long sought by Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, which had filed the lawsuit against the agency.