Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trump Policy Leaves a Stain on Real Hunters

From Dan Ashe, the former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 2011 to 2017:

"The Interior Department, our former employer, is on the hunt — camouflaged in the guise of “conservation.” Its target? Regulations that prohibit hunters from using cruel, unscientific and unethical methods to hunt Alaska’s bears and wolves.

"A taste of what the agency wants to allow under the Trump administration: shooting mother bears hibernating with cubs, luring bears with bait and killing wolves rearing young in their dens. And it wants to give the green light for such activities at National Park Service areas such as Denali and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

"We are deeply disappointed in our former employer but realize that this does not reflect the judgment of career scientists or land and wildlife managers. This is politics, pure and simple — placing the bull’s-eye on animals when they are most vulnerable.

"To our friends and colleagues in the “sportsmen” community, we ask: Is this really sportsmanship? Are we not better than this? Is this really what we want the more than 95 percent of Americans who don’t hunt to see and think about hunters?"

.... As lifelong anglers and hunters, we are immensely proud of the unselfish role hunters and anglers have played in protecting and sustaining our nation’s natural heritage and in supporting ethical practices that preserve and honor nature in all its diversity. Sportsmen and sportswomen have hunted and fished across the American landscape for far longer than our national parks and revered public lands have been protected. This has been a bipartisan relationship, honored and supported by Republican and Democratic presidents throughout the decades, beginning with our iconic public lands champion, President Theodore Roosevelt.

The legacy of the ethical hunter is on the line. A nation of mostly non-hunters is watching. Will they see our community stand proudly and loudly for humane, scientific and ethical policy? Or will they see the opposite? Hunters should stand with the non-hunting community and demand that this policy be withdrawn.

Read the whole thing.

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