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Assistant Director of International Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Services

Anna Seidman serves as the Assistant Director of International Affairs for Fish and Wildlife Services following her 2019 departure from Safari Club International (SCI). Prior to this transition, Seidman worked as the lead litigator in SCI, an advocacy group that wants free reign for wealthy trophy hunters. In this role, Seidman spearheaded over 10 cases against the Department of the Interior, including cases against Fish and Wildlife Services specifically. While Seidman is no longer with SCI, some of the cases she began working on against DOI and FWS are still active today. In her 2 decade tenure, she took legal action to weaken Endangered Species Act protections and reduce DOI’s ability to protect states’ wildlife.

With the goal of ensuring federal agencies defer to states over wildlife on federal lands, Seidman continually fought for trophy hunters by pushing back against any federal efforts to protect endangered species. Her efforts included advocating in front of the Senate Energy Committee for a “hands off” approach to wildlife management in Alaska and taking legal action against grey wolf protections in New Mexico. Most notably, Seidman has continuously fought to allow the import of African elephants killed by trophy hunters while advocating internationally on lessening regulations for hunters.

Sources: [LinkedIn profile for Anna Seidman, accessed 04/02/20, Huffington Post, 03/20/20, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Hearing on the Implementation of the ANILC, 12/03/15, Anna Seidman Selected to Received the Gary Taylor Memorial Award, Safari Club, accessed 03/31/20, Safari Club International v. Haugrud et al, accessed 04/03/20]

Special Interests

Exotic Wildlife Association (Political Extremism)

Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA) is an organization that fights for the ability of owners of nonindigenous animals to have and sell exotic animals.

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New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs (Protecting Public Lands)

The New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (NJSFSC) is an organization advocating for freedoms for gun owners and sport hunters.

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Safari Club International (Resource Development on Public Lands)

As the Director Of Legal Advocacy at Safari Club International, Anna Seidman spent 20 years litigating against the Department Of Interior and Fish And Wildlife Services.

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National Rifle Association (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Safari Club International joined the National Rifle Association in suits against the department while Seidman was the front groups Director Of Legal Advocacy.

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Background Information

Previous Employer

Safari Club International

New Fish And Wildlife official Anna Seidman spent decades fighting the agency to place the interests of trophy hunters above all else while at Safari Club International.

Other Information

After 20 Years Attacking The Department Of Interior In Court, Anna Seidman Is Now Poised To Weaken It From The Inside.

Seidman Filed Numerous Suits On Behalf Of Safari Club International Against The Department Of Interior And Fish And Wildlife To Weaken The Endangered Species Act And Lessen Federal Protections On Public Lands…

Safari Club International Built Insider-Connections With The Department Of Interior During The Trump Administrations, Gaining Access To Pursue Their Pro-Hunting Agenda. “SCI supports amending the Antiquities Act — signed by President Theodore Roosevelt more than a century ago — in order to strip away presidents’ power to unilaterally designate national monuments. Zinke has said the act has “become a tool of political advocacy rather than public interest.” And he has recommended Trump shrinking or otherwise weakening at least 10 existing national monuments, according to a leaked copy of the report Zinke submitted to the White House in late August.” [Huffington Post, 11/23/17]

  • Anna Seidman Herself Even Met With Zinke Prior To Moving To The Department Of Interior. “That’s SCI’s Director of Hunter Advocacy, Anna Seidman, in the photo with @SecretaryZinke!” [Tweet from Safari Club International, 08/03/17]

As The Director Of Legal Advocacy At Safari Club International, Anna Seidman Spent 20 Years Litigating Against The Department Of Interior And Fish And Wildlife Services To Fight For The Rights Of Trophy Hunters At The Expense Of Endangered Species. “Seidman was Safari Club’s top litigator for two decades and most recently served as director of its legal advocacy and international affairs arm, according to the organization’s website. In that role, she led several lawsuits against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, including challenging a 2015 Obama-era regulation that prohibited aggressive predator control tactics in national preserves and refuges in Alaska.” [Huffington Post, 03/20/20]

… Some Of Which Are Still Facing Court Battles Today Despite Their Lead Litigator’s New Role Inside Fish And Wildlife.

Anna Seidman Has Spearheaded Efforts To Allow The Hunting Of Endangered Species, Including Multiple Cases Against The Protected Status Of Mexican Grey Wolves. Seidman Was Only Removed From The Most Recent Legal Efforts In January 2020. “The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of gray wolf, is listed as endangered. 80 Fed. Reg. 2488 (Jan. 16, 2015). […]  Given that only a handful of Mexican wolves remained in existence by the 1980s, the 1982 Recovery Plan for the wolf focused on a captive breeding program to ensure the immediate survival of the subspecies and then an attempt to reintroduce it into the wild. […] Based on the 1982 Recovery Plan, the 1998 Rule set a prime objective of establishing a population of at least 100 wolves in the wild. […] At year-end 2015, there were at least 97 Mexican wolves in the MWEPA, a decrease from the 110 Mexican wolves at the end of 2014.” [Safari Club International v. Zinke, et al., 06/02/16]

Among Her Efforts To Undermine Federal Land Protections, Anna Seidman Testified Before Congress Against Fish And Wildlife’s Implementation Of The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. “In addition to the popular national parks and national forests areas, ANILCA has protected millions of acres of more remote lands such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Whether heavily visited or not, these are lands of significant importance to all Americans. They are extremely important from an environmental and cultural standpoint by protecting intact Arctic ecosystems as well as important fish and wildlife habitat and migration routes, which are key for subsistence and other hunting and fishing opportunities. These lands also provide important economic benefits. The outdoor industry estimates that the outdoor recreation activities in Alaska, much of which take place on Federal land, support over 90,000 direct jobs and generate about $9.5 billion in consumer spending.” [Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 12/03/15]

  • Seidman Took Her Opposition To Fish And Wildlife’s Management Of Federal Lands In Alaska A Step Further In 2017 With A Suit Claiming FWS Regulations Were Prioritizing Wildlife Over Hunters. Litigation Pertaining To This Suit Continues Today. “In 2017, again through Ms. Seidman’s leadership, SCI filed suit against the FWS and the National Park Service to challenge both agencies’ promulgation of regulations that directly conflicted with Alaska hunting regulations and that undermined the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s obligation to provide sustained yield to Alaska hunters.” [SCI, 09/18/19]

Anna Seidman Has Repeatedly Led Efforts Against DOI To Repeal Endangered Species Bans On Importing African Elephants Hunted For Sport Back To The U.S.  “In June 2015, Safari Club and the NRA (“Appellants”) filed a separate action alleging that the Service’s March 26, 2015 enhancement finding violated the ESA[…] Members of both organizations had harvested elephants in Zimbabwe in 2014 and 2015. However, as a result of the challenged enhancement findings, the members were barred from importing the trophies into the United States. […] The court held that (1) none of the three findings were arbitrary and capricious, id. at 73–81; (2) it was reasonable for the [Fish and Wildlife] Service “to interpret the Special Rule as rebutting [section 9(c)(2) of the ESA’s] statutory presumption,” id. at 66; (3) the Service was not required to initiate rule-making proceedings under the ESA when the enhancement condition was removed from CITES in 1994, id. at 66–67; and (4) the enhancement findings resulted from adjudications and therefore were not subject to the APA’s rule-making requirements, id. at 62–64. Safari Club and the NRA have now appealed the denial of their motion for summary judgment and the entry of judgment for Appellees.” [Safari Club International and National Rifle Association v. Zinke, 12/22/17]

  • Courts Are Continuing To Deal With Cases Against DOI Around Importing Hunting “Trophies” Today. “Citing concerns about the novel coronavirus pandemic, a federal court today rejected a bid by hunting groups and Namibian regulators to secure permits for elephant trophy imports into the United States. […] The Dallas Safari Club, the Namibian Ministry of the Environment and Tourism, the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations and a group of sport hunters had asked the court to require FWS to process permits for elephant trophy imports. A separate case concerning the Interior Department’s allowance of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.” [E&E, 04/09/20]

Beyond Litigation, Seidman Has Repeatedly Pushed To Prioritize Removing Species From The Endangered Species Lists, Even When Those Animals Are Still At Risk…

Anna Seidman Helped Write A Chapter In The Hunter-Led Wildlife For The 21st Century Attacking The ESA For Not Delisting Species. “Gridlock preventing updates to ESA are putting the law’s admirable principles at risk. Many of the problems concern the listing and delisting of threatened and endangered species. For example, removing a species from the list is difficult even after recovery goals have been met. A species can also be added to the list even when science demonstrates that greater conservation can be achieved by keeping it off the list. […] The ESA needs to be modernized and refocused on restoring and delisting species.” [Wildlife for the 21st Century V5, 06/01/16]

  • This Builds On Her Criticisms Of The List During 2013 Efforts To Remove Grey Wolves From The Endangered Species List, Dismissing The List As Not A “Forever Place.” “Anna Seidman, director of litigation for Safari Club International, whose members hunt wolves, said wolves have recovered where there is viable habitat. “The endangered species list was not designed to be a forever place,” she said.” [E&E, 06/04/13]

…While Applauding The SHARE Act, Legislation That Gives Hunters A Long Lease To Abuse Our Public Lands.

The SHARE Act Loosens Vital Regulations That Protect Public Lands And The Wildlife That Live There. Environmental and gun control advocacy groups opposed the “controversial” bill, claiming that it was a “sportsmen’s bill in name only” and that it contained a “broad range of dangerous provisions that would harm the environment and public safety, while failing to benefit hunters and sportsmen.” In particular, environmental group National Parks Conservation Association claimed, the bill would “erode public engagement and participation in public land management decisions and the many waivers of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).” [Western Values Project, 05/09/18]

Yet Anna Seidman and SCI Praise The Bill For The Luxuries It Would Provide Hunters. “As a nation, we must encourage all Americans, and in particular young people and urban residents, to increase their participation in wildlife-oriented recreation, including hunting, shooting and fishing,”Anna Seidman, Director of Government Affairs for the Safari Club International Seidman, said. “[The ‘SHARE Act’] removes statutory and regulatory obstacles that inhibit federal agencies from providing access and opportunities [for sportsmen and women].” [SCI, 09/12/17]