McCain, Obama Talk Sportsmen’s Issues with Field & Stream

McCain, Obama Talk Sportsmen’s Issues with Field & Stream. By Matthew Frank. New West.

Some folks will like to hear this . . . “[Obama’s] favorite piece of public land is Yellowstone.”

All in all, too much talk about guns. This should be a minor issue for hunters now that the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment to mean, correctly I think, that yes Americans do have a right to own guns.

The NRA now keeps the issue going because their payroll depends on it. The gun issue also serves to keep hunters on the development and industry side of conservation, which the right-wing NRA supports.




  1. vicki Avatar

    You are correct thatthere is too much talk about guns. SImply put, they exist and are in risk of becoming endangered. That is a direct opposite to the plight of what we all seem concerned with here, natural resources. Natural resources as a whole are entirely under threat with many of today’s politicians. Those politicicans seeking to end public out cry about gas prices, and those fueled by their oil money backers would have drilling at end be seen as a solution.
    Contrary to what those politicians seem to believe (or are paid well to support), drilling will not end energy inflation costs.
    It is refreshing to see that both candidates state a concern for concervation. But by and large, McCain’s claims are negated by his choices of running mates, and political affiliations or relationships.
    Can we trust either man to do the good thing? Only to the extent that we can trust those people they surround themselves with in a political context. Do we have any obvious choices here? Well, no more than we ever have. In the end, they are both politicians.
    It is disheartening to realize, after reading this and other pieces, that what we are now left with is choosing a president that will do the least damage. Yet, we do have that responsibility to uphold.
    I see this article as another advertisement, aimed at grabbing votes. They say what is needed to say in order to try to win over the gun owners. That is an appropriate action considering the pull that the NRA has in government.

    But rest assured that although the right to bare arms is an ultimate thing to fight for, the hold of the goold ole’ boys in the NRA is weakening. Now it is a fight becoming more about having approriate ways to assure public safety by limiting crimainals possesing guns. The new political arena is becoming how much of our public lands and resources will be preserved for future generations to enjoy, wether they hunt, fish, hike, camp or shoot photos.
    I would love to hasten in the new dominance of concervation, but it will certainly take time, just as assuring the right to bare arms, and the right for women and minorities to vote did.
    Now is a time to consider carefully that what we are truly enlisted with is assuring minimal damage is done until the age of conserving natural resources of all kinds (living, animal mineral or vegetation) comes to fruition.
    Considering the task at hand, we should most certainly move to minimize the negative impact that politicians such as Palin would have if given reign over our courts. Watch out for those “pit bulls” that run up to you with tails wagging and pretty groomed coats….if you look them straight in the eye, or turn your back on them, they will still bite the crap out of you…and their teeth are well sharpened, and their jaws are made for holding on for the long haul.

  2. vicki Avatar

    please excuse my typos.

  3. Jeff Avatar

    Since the USSC confirmed the 2nd amendment applies to individuals, and that outright bans of guns are unconstituional; this should allow sportsmen to quit worrying about loosing their .30-06 and start worrying about the loss of their favorite hunting spot to energy development. Democrats should be in a favorable postion in this light, but I’m still concerned sportsmen will vote Republican out of habit and fear.

  4. Ryan Avatar

    After reading both interviews. One canidate actually had references to things he had done over the years.. And one hasn’t done anything. D

    Dare to hope…… Prepare to be dissappointed

  5. JB Avatar


    One of the first questions asked was “In your career, what is the conservation legislation that you’re most proud of?” I found that both candidates gave reasonable answers (and specifics).

    If you want more foxes in the hen house at Interior, you can be assured McCain will appoint them! Moreover, you should check out Obama and McCain’s lifetime records on the League of Conservation voters website. McCain’s record is quite bad, and–in my estimation–not likely to improve given his choice of running mates.

  6. JB Avatar

    Here’s the link to the League of Conservation Voters McCain–Obama Comparison:

    McCain’s lifetime record: 24%
    Obama’s lifetime record: 86%

    McCain’s 2007 record: 0%
    Obama’s 2007 record: 67%

  7. vicki Avatar

    Keep in mind that Obama refers to a place of grea fondness in the hearts and minds of many people here, and abroad. He obviously finds YNP to be close to his heart. Given the YNP is the modle for all things conservation in this country it brings some inspiration to mind.
    I think most people here would argue that someone who had the imprint of YNP and it’s wonder placed in their heart, and refers back to it, is more likely to value those things which can be saved by our actions. That person would therefore be more likely to act to save those things, as we all would, which are near and dear to our heart.
    Yellowstone has been a catalyst and a classroom to many who now seek to conserve our natural spaces and resources. It serves as a building block to all sorts of ideals that are better taught through experience than a classroom.
    A person who found that experience to be meaningful is more likely to support educational advances that would aid in environmental learning and progress. That type of a person would be less likely to run with someone who is prone to menacing and distructive actions against animals, and nature.
    Refering to Roosevelt is commendable, as he set the ball for saving spaces in motion. But you have to do more han refer to someone elese’s inguinuity as inspiration…you have to let that inspiration guide you to do the right thing.
    McCain may have stood in the light of progressive thinking before, having said “no” to drilling in the Artic and a few other key issues. But allowing his advisors and contibutors to turn his eye from that light and point him straight back into the stone ages was a deficiency in wisdom we cannot afford to risk in a president.
    But,, that is just my opinion.
    Asking both candidates their opinion is also showing some change in direction from some hunting and fishing venues. In years past they may not have been inclined to interview anyone liberal, as they would choose not to tick off their political voice, the NRA. This shows confidence that conservatives are not actually seeing a possible loss of their second ammendment rights by electing a democrat. Without that risk being valid, there is less reason for them to vote republican.

  8. Ryan Avatar


    Are the heavens going to open when Obama is elected president. This is like listening to an evangelical pastor rant sometimes. Its great that he likes YNP, But what does he know about the issues affecting it? I actually liked Mccains response better, instead of citing a well known place, he spoke of a place few people have been that was truly special to him. A sign he has actually seen the west, not just fantacized about it. Mccain actually cited the removal of range cattle and the effects it had on the ecosystem. Where as I would bet dollars for donuts obama has no idea the affects and would side with ranchers.

    I read the LCV website, Its not a bit jaded 🙂

  9. JB Avatar

    Jaded or not, they judge every congressmen by the same criteria, and by those criteria McCain does not do well. By the way, I agree with you regarding Obama’s response. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places as well, but it was an obvious choice.

  10. vicki Avatar

    No heavens opening up that I am aware of….but you still insist on ignoring the other issues at hand. McCain is no spring chicken, and to me, his memory seems a bit slow. Can we guarantee much in the way of longevity for any candidate? No, not at all. But what I can guarantee is that if McCain kicks the bucket, I do not want Palin leading any country….let alone this one.
    I think I’d take you up on that bet, Obama is a bit more informed than you seem to want to believe. But I know you and I will never see eye to eye there. Though I do give you proper recognition for the reason you say you liked McCain’s response best. It shows your heart isn’t entirely ice when it comes to many issues. 😉
    I have said this before, and say it again…McCain was a much more viable candidate in my opinion before he picked Palin. Palin runs laps around Obama and Biden in the clueless department. Listening to her answer intense and serious questions is literally painful. She may be cut out for PTA magnitude offices…but I can’t say I’d trust her with much more authority than that. (And I wouldn’t put my kids in a school she had anything to do with running.)
    The place McCain mentioned is nearer to his heart, I have no doubt. What I doubt is McCain’s fortitude when it comes to standing up to the guys who are pulling his political purse strings. He surrounds himself with people who are a direct contradiction to what he says he stands for environmentally. How much of what he says can we expect him to really back up? The man can’t even keep his VP running mate from saying she’ll change his mind about drilling in the artic.
    I have beento ‘ many off the beaten track places’. My personal fave is a spot in Canada. I also deeply love a certain area around the Kenai in Alaska. But I also have a huge undeniable soft spot and love for YNP, as do many people—-that would make Obama typical in his exposure…I believe it is called “Main Stream”. That would bring him into the same scope of perspective as many average Americans. However, no one place is more worthy of saving….it’s worth just comes from a different set of factors. So neither could have given an incorrect answer as far as their favorite.
    I guess the real irony and sad twist is that these two men are the first set of opposing candidates with any prayer of being elected to ever both express a measurable concern for the environment. And yet, one is proven too unable to effect change after twenty years…and the other people doubt because he hasn’t had twenty years to effect things yet.
    Since you brought it up though, what does McCain know about the problems effecting YNP? You are talking about a man who caused considerable outrage by his mentioning water rights in the west, a screw up he quickly retracted. And yet you think he actually has a real sense of what goes on with the environment and mismanagement of resources by governments being owned by cattlemen and oil companies?
    I think the joke is on all of us one way or another.

  11. Ryan Avatar

    To be completely honest, I believe he has a better handle on the issues affecting the west than Obama. Your worries are correct about him kicking the bucket, but look at regan who was in office until his 80’s.

    Don’t kid yourself though, there both lying politicans who in the end won’t amount to a pile of beans. They lied to make themselves look better in this article, just like they’ll tell different lies to different interviewers.. In the end, the track record will speak for itself. Mccain has actually crossed party lines more than once on his voting and tends to stand up for his beliefs over his parties. As for Obama, he worries me with his lack of expirience and his only stand for hope, no solid ground on the issues. Palin is not the best, but a 65%-85% approval rating in her home state was impressive.

  12. vicki Avatar

    Approval ratings in the first few years in office are often positive. But if you look back and ask opinions after the person leaves office, there is often disapproval as a prevalence. You don’t really see what anyone has accomplished in office , or destroyed, for years afterward.

    We agree that in the end, they are both politicians. As for Obama’s hope, well we could use some right now. In the grand scheme, we would all do the world good if we cared more about The House and Congress. That is where the predominence of our changes will occur.

    Hey, can you believe we just had a couple of posts and didn’t attempt to verbally kill one another? See, Ryan, there is hope! Ha! Love it!

    Just so you know, I haven’t softened though. I still think that if the Heavens did open up, you’d deny Obama was the better candidate!!!! lol 😉

  13. frank Avatar

    Reagan was 77 when he left the White House.

  14. Jeff Avatar

    Reagan was also already showing signs of alzheimer’s by the time he left office as well. Remember his answers in the Iran-Contra hearings?

  15. jimbob Avatar

    Vicki, I have to agree with you. You make great points, Obama is the obvious choice. You will never convince these “dyed in the wool conservatives and hard-liners” about anything. Jesus could come down and endorse Obama and the hard-liners would just dismiss him as a “liberal” therefore his recommendation means nothing. As a 25plus year Arizonan who considered working for McCain’s previous campaigns in the presidency and senate, I have seen his positions change alarmingly. As someone above pointed out he is now much more aware of who is pulling his strings (oil, big business) and it affects his decisions. He used to go against the party line quite regularly and he NEVER agreed with Bush before four years ago. Look at him now!

  16. Linda Hunter Avatar

    Ryan do you know why Sarah’s ratings were so high in Alaska? Here is a possible reason: If an landlord has a bad renter and someone calls up to do a check on them because they are looking to rent another house and move out. . do you think the first landlord will give the bad renters a real honest recommendation. It would be awfully tempting to paint a better picture of them just to get them to move!!!

    There is another reason that has to do with guys spending a lot of time in the outback.

  17. outsider Avatar

    jeff if you want to talk about hearings, do you remember, “depends on what the deffeintion of is, is” ? Or I don’t recall, not to my knowledge. I could fill a page with them.

    Linda if you believe that the people of alaska purpousely gave Palin a high rating so she would be choosen as VP then, well I just don’t know, maybe pass what your smoken on over. Is it just to hard to stomach that she was and is loved in Alaska for cleaning house and doing the right thing?

  18. JB Avatar


    I think that’s a stretch. I think a more probable reason for Palin’s high ratings is that Alaska is relatively “easy” to govern. First, Alaska has no state income or sales tax, as 90% of the government is paid for by oil revenue. And Palin’s governorship just happens to correspond with record profits from big oil (meaning Alaska is sitting pretty). In addition, on the federal side you have Ted Stevens bringing home the bacon in the form of huge earmarks. On the whole, Alaskans get a LOT from the government (and pay very little), and so have very little to complain about (except the weather…and those nasty wolves). 😉

  19. catbestland Avatar

    Here’s a reason Pailn might be popular in Alaska. Alaska has a rate of sexual assault and violence against women 2 1/2 times higher than the national average. Sara Palin pushed to require that rape victims pay for their own forensic rape kits which of course would help to pursuade victims from reporting the crimes. What an insult she is to women.

  20. catbestland Avatar

    So maybe all those perverts (the ones that ran the sexual assault rate up) are loving the fact that she is their governor.

  21. AJ Avatar

    “Jesus could come down and endorse Obama and the hard-liners would just dismiss him as a “liberal” therefore his recommendation means nothing.”

    Jesus was a Capricorn….he ate organic foods.
    He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
    Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
    Reckon they’d just nail him up if he came down again!!

  22. JB Avatar

    Again, Palin is popular because Alaska is rich at the moment with oil revenues. For those small government folks, you might enjoy the following quotes:

    “She may have fired the governor’s chef and sold the state jet, but Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has also presided over a dramatic increase in state spending in the last two years….With no statewide income or sales tax, Alaska funds about 90 percent of the state budget from royalties and taxes on oil producers. Soaring oil prices and a higher windfall oil profits tax – an increase pushed through by Palin, now the Republican vice presidential nominee – have state coffers overflowing with petrodollars. The Alaska oil industry calculates that its annual payments to the state doubled in a single year to $10.2 billion.”


  23. outsider Avatar

    Forgetting for a moment that Mr. Alperin-‘Sheriff has provided NO proof whatsoever that a) the city of Wasilla ever charged ANY victim for a rape kit, and b) that the contingency fund account was ever used to pay for rape kits in the first place, consider the fact that IF in fact the contingency fund account WAS used to pay for rape kits, then logically, after the Alaska bill was passed requiring each police department to foot the bill for rape kits – this budget for this account should have then INCREASED. It didn’t. in 2000, the budget for the account was $1,000. In 2001, the budget for the account was $500. There was NO increase. I hope that you can be as specific when you attemp to smear someone with yesterdays talking points that have been smashed.

  24. vicki Avatar


    I think we are on the same page, but Jesus was likely(from my biblical knowledge) a Jew, and therefore would have had short hair:) But anyhow….

    Either way, a person who disagrees with another’s choice, is allowed their opinion….have a right to it actually. So I am not suprised when anyone chooses not to agree. People hold stead fast to their ideals, they relate to them and see them as a part of their identity. Having to acknowledge when there is something about yourself that may need to bend is hard to do….atleast for me.

    The thing I try to give Ryan credit for is always trying to back up what he says. Even though I don’t always agree, I give him my respect for being intellegent enough to do that.

    Excellent points.
    A few weeks ago, my own parents were cursing me for being a democratic supporter this go round. Tonight I had a very heart felt conversation with my father. He is a teacher, and has a masters in International Econ. I hold his opinion in high regard, and would even if he weren’t my dad.

    We talked about a lot of issues, including inflation and the current buy outs. Scarey. Iran is now declaring that the “Empire of America” is crumbling. Many muslim extremists will view this as proof of prophetic rants by terrorists being brought to pass. Scarey again.

    I see the environment, and fuels specifically, as a huge part of what our problems are. If we spent less money overseas on oil, we’d take back some control.

    I am hoping the next president will see the need to reform our nation’s energy dependence. And though I believe we will have to do more drilling at home (don’t lynch me), I think that it should be part of a specific plan that will convert our nation to a self sustaining one and eventually end fossil fuels as a necessary part of our existence.

    I don’t think McCain is ill willed, just a bit of a clueless follower. I am thankful for his great sacrafice in the name of my freedom, but lots of heroes sacrafice…I don’t think they’d all be cut out to be president.

    I am glad to see that both candidates felt compelled to actually address the issue of conservation. But this is a desperate time in our country, I believe we are bordering on the new “great depression”. We are faced with a literal make it or break it election. Change needs to occur now.

    I look at Palin’s success as comparing treating a cold, and curing cancer. She is a person who made something that wasn’t that bad to begin with, look a bit more neat. She is the equivilant of giving a face lift to a ninety year old, you may make the face look better, but they are still ninety years old! While she was busy beautifying what people perceive, she is over looking the heart disease that will end up killing the ninety year old the day after surgery. She fixes things on a very superficial level. Makes it look good, then grabs onto the PR and attention and runs like hell with it. She is a master manipulator… but will cover up what is really broken. (Obviously she bugs the crap out of me!)

    Obama is not a super hero, I don’t expect super human strengths and perfection in his motives. What I would hope to see is that he took some of what we all get inspired by here, and helps turn that into a progressive move that would conserve resources, limit carbon footprints, and end dependencey (and empowerment over us) on foreign oil.

    But, I will keep my camper fully stocked so if the economy worsens I can atleast have a roof over my head no matter what!

  25. catbestland Avatar

    That still doesn’t explain why Alaska has a sexual assault rate 2 1/2 times the national average. With the majority of those crimes being against Native American and Eskimo women who happen to be the least likely to vote. Higher rate of sexual offenses upon minorities who are less likely to vote = a higher number of suxual offenders who do vote. You do the math. In addition there is her uncompromizing stand against abortion even in instances of rape. All in all Sarah Palin is an insult to women.

  26. vicki Avatar

    I am no fan of doubt. And I am not arguing the vaildity of your argument, but the number of men in Alaska is signifigantly higher than women (Like 2 or 3 to one I think)…so it owuld also stand to reason that the number of sex assaults would be reflective of that. The part you mention of most concern is the degradation and ratios illustrating intollerence or subjectivation of not just women, but minorities in specific. A blast of icy history. And one we should not want to be a part of our future. Couple that with the movement to control what the victims do with their bodies, and you have the recipe for forcable racially defined breeding factories.

  27. catbestland Avatar

    Yes, that is my point exactly. Instead of Sarah Palin standing up for the victims of suxual assault in her state, (a record 2 1/2 times higher that that of the rest of the nation), she is making it more difficult for those victims to make the right decisions on what to do with their bodies. It is all the more intollerable that the vast majority of those victims are minorities. It sends a messege that their victimization is unimportant. This should be unacceptable to all women.

  28. outsider Avatar

    cat where are you getting this 2 1/2 times higher number, I looked around a little and can’t find it?

  29. outsider Avatar

    JB so its on a blog that make its true, I found lots of that info, where is the data that can be comfirmed, maybe a gov report?

  30. catbestland Avatar


    Look some more.

  31. kim kaiser Avatar

    always trust the NYT for important information!

  32. JB Avatar

    Outsider, Kim:

    Outsider claimed he couldn’t find a source for the 2.5 x rape figure that Catbestland cited. I provided a source that I found for this figure on a very quick Google search (Alaska+rape). There were other sources as well, but this was near the top, and its not a topic I think is relavant, so I sent the link along without comment as a courtesy.

    Outsider, I’m not sure if you actually read the piece or just looked at the URL. It is posted in the NYT opinion section as an editorial from their editorial board. I made no claims about its “truth” (or any other content contained therein), but I do give the NYT editorial staff enough credit that if they cite a figure, I’ll expect that someone would have looked it up. Kim seems to think that they NYT is not to be trusted, that’s his opinion (apparently they’re too liberal for his tastes). Whether or not you believe is up to you, I could care less, as I don’t think the topic is relevant. I’ve tried to reasonably discuss these issues without getting into an emotional debate (perhaps you might re-read my posts above).

  33. JB Avatar

    The actual figure appears to come from an Amnesty International report issued in 2007–that is, if you are willing to believe the Anchorage Daily News (

    Here are the “key findings” of the study (as cited in the article):

    • 1 in 3 Native and American Indian women raped in their lifetimes
    • 2.5 times higher rape rate for Native women than other U.S. women
    • 9.7 times more Native women sexually assaulted than other women in Anchorage from 2000 to 2003

  34. JB Avatar

    Here is a fact sheet by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence that claims that the “Alaska rape rate is 2.5 times the national average.” It cites its own 2007 report: Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, (2006). 2006 Annual Report.: Working in Alaska Communities For: Safety, Justice, Advocacy and Education, Violence Prevention. Juneau, Alaska.

    My God, did the NYT just get something right? I suspect Kim is eating his hat. 😉

  35. outsider Avatar

    JB thanks for the info, so would it true to say cats satment “(a record 2 1/2 times higher that that of the rest of the nation), ” would apply to native women in the us and not 2 1/2 times higher for the state of alaska for all women?

  36. JB Avatar

    Outsider, that was my initial assessment as well, but then I found the second report by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (see above; it appears we were posting at about the same time).


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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