The Trump administration has hired a longtime Safari Club International (SCI) lawyer to head the international affairs wing of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Anna Seidman has served as the Director of Legal Advocacy and International Affairs for SCI since 1999 and will now be the assistant director of FWS’s international affairs program, according to the Huffington Post.
Seidman “is an effective, innovative leader with 20 years of legal and policy experience, including expertise in international environment and natural resource management,” an FWS spokesman told Huffington.
The Trump administration has maintained a strong pro-hunting stance, and Donald Trump, Jr., is a famously avid hunter who recently made headlines for winning a grizzly bear tag in Alaska. The President’s son also worked with SCI to auction off a hunting trip that sold for $150,000.
Seidman’s hiring could indicate that the administration will also take a pro-hunting position on the national stage.
President Trump faced immense backlash in the fall of 2017 after the FWS reversed an Obama-era rule banning the importation of elephant and lion trophies from some African countries. A federal appeals court ruled that Obama’s FWS did not follow the right procedures when it initiated the ban.
Trump criticized the decision of his FWS in an interview with Piers Morgan, telling the British journalist that “I didn’t want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country].”
“People can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they’re saying where money goes towards ― well, money was going ― in that case, going to a government which was probably taking the money, OK?” he continued.
The FWS responded by saying it would review trophy imports on a “case-by-case” basis.
Seidman’s former employer describes itself as a “not-for-profit organization of hunters whose primary missions are to protect the freedom to hunt and to promote wildlife conservation.”
SCI serves hunters on both national and international levels, and promotes hunting as an invaluable tool for conservation.
“On a global scale, hunters support the concepts of sustainable use and community-based natural resource management that conserve iconic species such as the lion, elephants, rhinoceros, leopards and cheetahs,” the group says on its website.
Seidman worked on international issues but was also in charge of several lawsuits against FWS pushing for state control of wildlife management.
“From the very first case that she litigated on behalf of Safari Club International (SCI), Anna Seidman has demonstrated her commitment to supporting the authority of states to manage wildlife,” SCI says on its website.