November 12, 2002

November 11, 2002 (ENS) - Members of the international nongovernmental coalition Species Survival Network were shocked to hear the United States offer a plan that would allow for a renewed international commercial trade in stockpiled elephant ivory within the next three years.

The U.S. amendment language came without warning at the 12th conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) during debate over a proposal from Botswana to allow the trade in 20 metric tons of ivory and also allow for an annual quota for ivory sales.

The U.S. language was announced moments before the European Union announced its opposition to the ivory trade at this time.

In a related story, the Bush misadministration plans to allow more snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The decision reverses one taken during the Clinton presidency that would have banned them by next winter.

There would be no limits on snowmobiles for the winter season beginning next month and running until mid-March, Interior Department officials said.

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