WTF! What are they talking about here?
“NRA, SCI, and CSF Disavow Misleading Press Release-“
This news release/warning or whatever it is has been making the round. Can anyone figure it out? Ralph Maughan
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NRA, SCI, and CSF Disavow Misleading Press Release
Today the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation publicly disavowed a misleading press release distributed on Friday, March 11th to congressional offices and other outlets. The press release blatantly misrepresents the position of these organizations regarding legislation to delist gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
The draft release was circulated by an individual representing Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and Big Game Forever. The individual representing these two groups was immediately advised to remove the aforementioned organizations named in the release. Unfortunately, he did not, and the release was transmitted without correcting the inaccurate information.
The release in question claimed that the NRA, SCI and CSF along with the other organizations listed below are opposed to language relating to the delisting of gray wolves in spending legislation currently pending before the U.S. Congress. In fact, these organizations support that language, as well as every other measure that has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to date addressing this important issue.
Congressional offices and members of the media should exercise caution in accepting as fact, or repeating, any claims made by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Big Game Forever or any person claiming to represent them. Due to the blatant misrepresentation contained in the press release circulated by these two groups, any claims they make in the future should be thoroughly investigated and independently confirmed.
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National Rifle Association, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 United States
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.
96 Responses to WTF! What are they talking about here?
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As if the general public doesn’t know that SCI and the NRA hates predators! Animals that kill other animals for survival are nothing but a threat to these people- How selfish can you be- As if OUR natural resources belong to them!
The NRA is a complete disgrace
The nra should not be speaking on wildlife related issues, but I’m not surprised as I bet a good deal of nra members are hunters. The sci without a doubt are a predator hating organization. They still want to hunt lions for sport even when there are 20,000 of them left. Sport hunting supporters claim sport hunting lions is going to save them. Couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is trophy hunting is one of the factors responsible for lion #s dwindling. These people will say whatever they have to say in order to try and convince people that sport hunting is going to save lions. I hope the ban on sport hunting of lions comes soon. Groups are trying to get it banned and I hope they do.
How will SCI function and sleep at night if they can’t kill polar bears and lions? Oh the terror, Oh the misery
Don’t know, but you can bet if lions do become protected, the sci will do whatever they can to have them delisted. Sci really do not give two shits about lions. They just want them around so they can be shot and displayed in their trophy rooms. Sick son of a bitches if you ask me William.
These individuals believe sport hunting lions will save the species? Reality check for these individuals. Lion population in the 70s equaled around 100,000 or so. Lion population currently equals around 20,000. Yup, sure looks like they are helping in conserving the lion population, right? Sport hunting on lions is not the only affect on the population, but is one of the main ones. It is truly sad that third world countries in Africa have realized the negative affects of sport hunting on native species, while here in America we are lacking behind on that thought process.
These groups are full of crazy people.
Official Disinformation , perhaps ?
The NRA quit calling our house when I read the caller the riot act and told him exactly what I thought of them. Good riddance to bad garbage!
The NRA has a place and it is defending our Rights to Own Guns. I don’t think they should be viewed as a conservation group like DU, NWTF or RMEF and I don’t much care what their opinion is on game management. I don’t much care what the CEO of RMEF has to say either and have pulled all my money to other groups. Lets remember not all hunters hate predators. I love them and I enjoy hunting them.
On thinkprogress last month there was a telling article about the NRA and their role in “defending our rights to own guns” as you describe it. It appears that Mr Lapierre’s lobbying arm is completely financed by gun manufacturers, which explains why the NRA is against any gun legislation that would restrict the use of ANY product made by these manufacturers. People continue to die, and the NRA wears the blood stains as a badge of honor. This issue has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment.
You say you love predators, but yet you kill them. Love and killing don’t belong in the same sentence. That makes absolutely no sense. That’s like saying I love my dog, but I’m going to kill him. When you usually love an animal, you usually don’t kill it. The word love must have a different meaning to you.
Jon, I’m sure glad my wife isn’t a hunter! She tells me that she loves me all the time! Remember the first Batman movie where the guy goes, “You’re my number one guuyyy!” Then he shoots him!
Well, I do need the protein. But you gotta love the conviction!
Hilljack: The right to own guns in use of a moral purpose is one thing, but the right to own guns as a means of use for power is something people view negatively towards the NRA.
Wow – you love predators and love killing them. What a concept.
Maybe he means he loves killing predators? I just don’t see how one can claim to love something, but yet kill it. I guess some words have totally different meanings to others Virginia.
Jon, everyone knows what your opinion on hunting is. Why do you feel the need to write essentially the same thing over and over again every day on every thread on this blog?
Can you accept that there are different opinions on this issue and that not everyone wants to see every discussion thread turn into a ‘gotcha’ game about who loves wildlife more? Seriously, bring something new to the table or give it a rest for a while.
jburnham: And, you have brought lots to the table yourself, right? By your criticism of what jon believes, are you not proving to be the same character that you are blaming jon to be?
I also enjoy predators but hunt them. I have hunted black bears for 13 years now and have killed one bear. Bear if prepared right, or used as an additive for say sausge etc. is very similar to pork IMO(not as tasty but edible). In that same time I have returned with hundreds of bear pictures. I still hunt them because I would enjoy killing a blonde bear some day. I also participated in MTs wolf hunt last year. I didn’t kill a wolf but had one oppurtunity to do so but let it pass as it wasn’t what I was looking for. I was fully prepared to at least try wolf meat, not sure how that would have been. At the same time, I have also quit donating to RMEF due to their more radical stances.
I believe hunting predators for meat purposes is a modern (another) excuse for hunters to persuade the public to allow huntings of predators. It goes back to the law of assuring all killed animals through hunts need to be used for a purpose.
R.N.T: What type of wolf were you looking for? I believe, reading your comment, that you “want” to kill a predator, but as you mentioned, you also love them and your love for predators convinced you not to shoot and kill the animals, with the exception of the one bear (sadly) in the 13 years. I can respect that in yourself.
I’m sure eating a wolf would be like eating your Rottweiler, German shepherd or any other type of dog. Why would anyone want to do it?
Wasn’t so much looking for (poor choice of words on my poart) as I was out with a rifle and generally only hunt with my recurve bow anymore. As for eating a wolf, I’ll try about anything once, and I would imagine it would be a fair bit different then eating your german shepherd unless you were feeding your dog raw meat and game on a normal basis or the wolf was eating dog food.
++I would enjoy killing a blonde bear some day.++
What’s enjoyable about killing a blonde bear?
Native Americans ate dogs and Lewis also on occasion while with them.
I have eaten bear and found it quite good; the liver is excellent and mild (if you like liver). The fat made the best pie crusts I ever ate. My dogs would eat the meat when cooked but not go near it when raw.
Virginia: I see that a lot. Many hunters do not kill predators because they hate them, they actually love them due to the power that comes with them. By taking down the powerful predator, they see themselves as this powerful being that just killed another powerful creature. I think it is absolutely sickening, but this is reality. How many times have you heard from a hunter after killing a bear or cougar say “Look at this beautiful such and such…” I see it no different then someone killing their spouse because they love them so much and would rather take their lives then lose them to someone else. No matter what, both situations are sickening.
I will have to disagree respectfully. Hunters (not all) in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho all hate the wolf because it kills elk and deer.
I agree, i see it as no different. If you love something, you usually don’t kill it.
Jon – that’s how the sane world works. Unfortunately there’s a large swath of people who don’t understand that these aren’t the frontier days anymore. Mostly they kill because they like to kill. It’s a blood lust and I hope one day the human race can shed itself of it.
There’s a big difference between being lost in the wild and shooting a deer for your sustenance and shooting a deer and then sitting your large ass down in a lazy boy and cracking a Pabst Blue Ribbon with a bag of Doritos while watching Jay Leno.
Although I am in favor of wolves, I think your description above is exactly what polarizes people who sit on the fence.
Most people who hunt do not fit that stereo-typical description. And I would not call it a blood lust. In fact, many hunters who I know hunt, in part, to stay in touch with a simpler time that allowed you to commune with nature and friends/family. Not everyone hunts with high-tech 5k equipment that measures wind speed and adjust the rifle’s aim with the click of a button. Many things about hunting have changed, one thing remains the same….you are out there in the wild.
You opinion, while everyone’s is valuable, comes across with a hint of irrationality. The comparrison of wolves to spouses is a detrament to conservation. It takes the science out of the process and opens the door for right wing anti-predator types to attack the core fundamentals of this issue. At every turn, conservationists do greater battle with the mental perception of all predator supporters are butterfly chasing loonies, then they should have to.
If we could get passed stereo-typing people on either side of the issue, we could deal with the issue and put the insults to rest. After all, this is about predators. We have made it about people, pets, cows, sheep, and land control. It is, and always should have been, about the equalibrium of our environment and it’s inhabitants.
Sickening though it may be to you, it is a reality that needs to be considered. Until we stop alienating people who could be turned into an ally for the science of the environment, we will be placing them in the hands of the enemy. It is a lot easier for people to do nothing and let things go on the way they are, than it is to convince them that you have a factual basis and a reasonable cause. You can’t feasibly expect people to stand up and fight with you, if it means they instantly get placed in “the cross hairs” of a name calling match.
Since you have used comparrisons to make your point, please allow me…asking people to agree with you when you have insulted a huge population of people who are key to turning this page, is like asking them to embrace PeeWee Herman as your director. He may be brilliant, but nobody takes him seriously.
“Commune with nature? Trophy hunters do not commune with nature- they want a trophy to compete with the collection down the street. I just finished a book about the history of the conservation movement- Hunters had to dragged “kicking and sceaming” about the restrictions that were violating their rights as hunters to kill animals without any limits whatsoever- We are talking the 20’s and 30’s here, even as populations of many animals were decimated by overhunting these “conservationists” were acting like the Government had no right to impose any restrictions on their killing.
“In fact, many hunters who I know hunt, in part, to stay in touch with a simpler time that allowed you to commune with nature and friends/family…….you are out there in the wild.”
I’ve heard this from hunters I know, “It’s the outdoor experience, the opportunity to spend time in the wild with my friends, the tracking that I enjoy. I really don’t go for the killing part.” So I ask them if they would like to go camping with me and my friends. We also enjoy tracking to see what we can see and maybe take a picture or two; all the parts they say they love without the killing. They just stare at me like I’m nuts. Thanks, but no thanks.
Now, having said that, I do not have a problem with folks who hunt, in a legal ethical manner, for food. It’s something that I would not do except as a last resort. Humans are not carnavores, proven by study after study that show that the less meat we eat the longer we tend to live. We are omnivores, like bears. Americans tend to eat way too much meat. Personally I eat chicken or fish maybe two or three times a week and no beef (can you say ‘boycott’?), mainly because my wife insists on it. But I can understand tradition and I can understand filling a freezer. Meat from the store is expensive and probably not very healthy; though I’m not sure that wild game is any healthier, having been (possibly) left in the field overnight, field dressed, hauled in a dirty pickup bed, chopped up in the garage, possibly infected with who knows what? I know little about such manners and have no desire to learn more.
What I do know is that the hunters I know are ethical and follow the law (as far as I know). I also know that I read about a lot of disgusting and unethical things that some hunters do (name the group, there are unethical members); but I’m pretty sure that is not the ones I know.
I also know that the hunters I know agree with me about 90% of outdoor issues. We could stand toe to toe and fight about the 10% that we disagree about, and in doing so lose out to those who disagree with us 100%; or we can stand shoulder to shoulder and fight for the 90% we agree on.
So, you want that forest preseved so your grandson can hunt there or fish there. I want it preserved so my grandson can birdwatch and photograph there.
You kill things, I don’t. So let’s not talk about hunting today. Not today. Let’s talk about forest and stream access and habitat protection etc. Let’s talk about how we can work together.
My comment above about how my wife says she loves me all the time is a joke (not that she doesn’t tell me that she loves me!), meant to illustrate how silly the conversation was. I understand Jon saying that you don’t kill something you love, but I also understand what Hilljack means when he talks about predators. What he means (I think) is that he respects predators and feels that they have a rightful place in the ecosystem. I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ in that regard, but it’s just a word.
My only comment on this press release, which is what this thread is supposed to be about, is “WTF! What are they talking about here?” and that if I were to get this e-mail I would defineately click on the ‘here’ at the bottom!
Very good post. I have been reading this blog for several years now and came to it because I found that I agreed with ~90% of the stuff posted here. Are there some things I disagree with…. certainly…. I’m sure I could find a blog where nobody disagreed with me, but what would I learn there. Of all the hunting/conservationist/whatever else I find this to be by far the most thought provoking blog and contain the highest quality posts, regardless of stance. Not only now but in the future I think it is gonna be even more important that conservationists and hunters stand together in the face of corporate interest.
Alan and R.N.T.
Am in accord with both statements.
I think you said that very well. I agree with you. In fact, I go with family that hunts, and drag my camera along too. Just because I take pictures these days, doesn’t meen that I am opposed to hunters. And like wise.
I have been very out spoken about predator balance. I support wolves and increased conservation of Grizzlies, etc.
The one thing that has caused most people I know to shy away from the issue is the fact that the people on both sides of the isle can be down right ugly.
I think that is a contributing factor to how we ended up with a break of unification, some settling, some not. No two people see eye to eye on everything, let alone countless groups of pro/anti positions. In the end, the decisions to settle or proceed with litigation etc. is based solely on the individual objectives of each group. Those objectives, are based on somebody’s (or a couple of somebody’s) personal interpretation of a goal having been met. I am not suprised that there is some division. There way never a clear black and white division of what should happen….there is always more grey than not.
I think your wife is right to boycott, and if you are what you eat…I must have feathers and scales too! I support her efforts to make a stand.
I used to post here often, and backed off. It isn’t that the reading is not awesome, but I found a lot of people throwing insults at eachother instead of adding a constructive option or input. Nothing causes momentum to go backwards like squabbling over who is smarter, or has a bigger degree, or knows more because of this etc.. It really boils down to nobody having a greater right than another, even if we don’t agree with it, to support what objectives they see as valid.
Six months ago I would have said it was childish to engage in that, but now, it seems to be standard human behavior.
That is even more sad to me, than the fact that we are still hashing out in court rooms what should have been based in science to begin with. Though I see why it is necessary, the waste of resources and time is deplorable. I some times have to think “shame on all of us”.
Like it or not, this will never be a subject that is clearly right or wrong. In light of that, we are all in it together. I guess I just get sick of wondering when people will realize that and starting finding solutions that can allow progress. I have said this before, and I see it as true to this day…all or nothing= nothing.
In order to end the feuding over predators, you have to have a meeting of the minds. That won’t happen if people are telling everyone else they are out of theirs. I see logic in hunting, I have watched the care most of my friends and family take when hunting. Trophy hunters, more than any others, are not quantity driven. They would walk away from a hunt rather then just shoot the firt thing they saw. You don’t have to agree with it, or me. But you do have to realize that your opinion on the subject is just that, your opinion. I have just as much right to mine, just as much of a voice as you, and just as many people who would stand up with me to support my thoughts on the subject.
Here in lies the dilema….no two people are perfect, I only know of one man who ever was.
As Alan said, 90 percent of the time, my hunting friends agree with my tree hugging stand on things. But, as with all things, the other 10 percent still count too.
I hear what you are saying, Phil too. I appreciate your input. But the issue of seperating the alligiances of the pro-wold groups is a symptom of the true problem. We all have to be willing to give a bit to get a lot.
“I think your wife is right to boycott…” No biggie, but just to clarify, it is I who boycott beef; my wife who insists that that we eat any meat at all.
Is the draft press release available to view? Does anyone know of a link to it??
I guess I wonder why these new posters share their love of killing predators on a website set up to advocate for the protection and preservation of wildlife? Is it just to inflame the conversation? That is how it appears to me and I wish they would go away.
I agree with you Virginia.
May I suggest that you two scroll up to the top of the page and click on the “About Hunting” tab?
Here’s what it says:
March 24, 2010
We decided to write this page because of continual confusion about this forum’s stand on hunting.
This is not a pro-hunting blog, nor an anti-hunting blog. There is a good reason. Bad feeling between hunters and those don’t like hunting is probably the single biggest reason why there is not a widespread political movement to protect and enhance wildlife and wildlife habitat in the United States.
Part of this split is philosophical, but part is deliberately stirred up by those who have other political and economic agendas.
We would rather not have discussions about the wrongness or rightfulness of hunting, but they seem unavoidable. However, we will step in when they get personal or otherwise out of hand.
Give it up SAP,
I have pointed this out several times, and it gets ignored time and time again..
It seems as if, no matter the subject of a post, it turns into a anti/pro hunting thread….it is a shame, based on what this blog used to be, there are still some of us around that actually remember what it was a few years ago..
Yes, we remember. It was great before all the hunters showed up.
Yup, Timz Those one sided conversations are always so productive..
Oh and I forgot. When the know-it-all a-holes like Save Bears showed up the sight really went to shit.
Yup Timz, every thing went to shit because I showed up…oh to have so much power, this from an ex IRS agent! Wow..
Wasn’t an agent dip shit. For someone who knows everything you sure are wrong a lot.
Now of course, if you feel I have sent the site to shit, you might want to take that up with Ralph, he is the one that has allowed me to post on this blog, go figure…
See Timz, I never claimed to know everything, I have admitted I am wrong many times, now you, calling me a dipshit, well just goes to show…now correct me if I am wrong, you did work for the IRS? or was that a lie?
Lets see, the next comment from you should be something to the effect of me using an alias?
Not all people who work for the IRS are agents, I fixed their computers. Now let’s hear your “I’m a poor abused vet who can’t use his real name because of some lawsuit that has been going on for upteen years.”
Told you so…
Face it SB your a pompus prick who if you would just go away this web site would be a lot more enjoyable.
See that is your problem Timz, websites that discuss important issues are not always enjoyable..but it would probably be more enjoyable for you, if you just ignored the comments I make, and I will continue to make them until such time as the owner tells me I can’t, so get used to it..
And Timz, YES, I am a pompus asshole, I have also admitted that many times over the last couple of years, you really need to find something else to bitch at me about..
I see you for what you are, a complete fraud. Your contacts telling you this and that (wrong every time) your calling the governot of MT, etc. You are a joke and worth a laugh so go ahead and keep posting if you must.
Night, Night Timz…
Good Night, and be sure to let us know when the gov gets back to ya.
SAP: Why would you tell us to scroll to the “About Hunting” tab then post the message below your statement? Should we scroll up there and read it for ourselves, or should we read what you posted? Wouldn’t Virginia’s comment of “inflame the conversation” back-up what is stated on the “About Hunting” tab?
This thread is a perfect example of what this once great blog has become. Not a single post on this thread actually discusses the intent of Ralph posting this. Did anyone actually read this post.
The once great discussion that once took place (even on heated subjects) has turned into nothing but a few anti hunting ideologues who promote nothing to logical discussion other than a bunch of group think.
My take on the unseen press release is that it’s probably another example of why extremists tend to burn out. I’d speculate that NRA et al. were just not being extreme enough to satisfy the extreme anti-wolf zealots, so — Taliban style — they denounce their former comrades as sell-outs. Pretty soon, the extreme extremists are way out on the far end of the spectrum by themselves.
SFW was prostituting wolves for money. They thought they could gain some membership and donations by painting the other organizations as moderate on the wolf issue.
However it has backfired and they have been exposed as a group that really isn’t interested in de-listing wolves, but rather their only concern is the almighty dollar at any cost.
Wyo Native: Yes, the FWS truly does not want to delist wolves, as was indicated by the settlement, right? “Prostituting wolves for money”? While that may be true (more so in your mind), I see the reintroduction of wolves (keystone species) as a more useful means then your take of prostituting for money. You are complaining on the anti-hunters on this thread, but you doing exactly the same to these (myself) individuals. Would you be happier if this thread was full of pro-hunters? That is what makes these types of threads so realistic and great, you can have and share opinions from both sides of an issue. There are a good amount of hunters on here and ones who do not hunt, but to target only the “anti-hunters” goes against everything you are preaching.
Sorry Wyo Native, but missread SFW for FWS. Disregard my post to your comment as it would not connect to what you posted.
Interesting comparison. I would agree that extreme positions on such matters usually result in a steady decline of progress. Such extremes tend to polarize issues.
The only thing that is concerning is that often, I see the middle ground falling victim to these very outspoken and very financially backed extremes.
I would really like to think that more people could find middle ground, realizing NOBODY gets EVERYTHING they want ALL the time.
I agree that sometimes certain threads get bogged down with both anti-hunting AND pro-hunting sentiments. In defense of those that posted on this particular thread – that is gist of the story is it not. Delisting = hunting. So I think that naturally those sentiments would rear their head. Moreover, to trash the entire site on the basis of the hunting issue is unfair. I believe that the those that run the blog try to bring a truthful even-handed news. I’m not sure that any other blog does such a good job of presenting the spectrum of wildlife news in North America and the west in particular.
Christopher: Good points here. I remember having an arguement with a person on youtube (Eaglecreek) who criticized Ralph for eliminating his posts that were strongly for hunting and strong remarks against anyone who was against hunting and for protecting wolves. You can have a opinion on hunting one way or another, but if you escalate that opinion to severe points, then, no matter what side you are on, the individuals who run the site try to break down on these individuals and keep a level-handed field.
I have read this topic half a dozen times, and it still doesn’t make sense. Perhaps I’ve got too much going on…
I read your comment, and it makes sense, then I go to the top and reread the article, and it doesn’t match…
So I’m back to the top again, and WTF does this article really mean?
Immer – I am just filling in the blanks from the tone of the NRA release, along with reference to SFW’s response referenced in this article (but not available on SFW’s website, nor is the original SFW release that started the whole affair):
SFW probably sent out a statement saying the bigger groups weren’t sufficiently anti-wolf (they may really feel this way, and/or they want to gain more supporters); NRA et al. sent out the release we see here in response; SFW then sent out the release referenced in the SL Trib article and would just like the whole shameful episode to fade from view.
So is it a he said they said sort of thing, coupled with a they said no we didn’t say that? But perhaps we really feel that way, but we won’t admit it.
I’m a current NRA member and probably won’t renew. I like the work it does re: the 2nd amendment but I don’t understand bullshit like it’s stance against predators, or, for that matter, inviting Glenn Beck to speak at the annual convention (Talk about a predator!). It should have stuck to what it’s good at, and what it’s nominal focus is.
I’ve posted the link on here several times to a story that reveals what members of Congress get money from the NRA. They are a whos’s who of anti-environmental members of the legislature. Any so called hunter or conservationist who supports the NRA is either a hypocrite or terribly ill-informed.
I’ve said a number of times that there needs to be an organization for hunters, shooters and conservationists that is not also a mouthpiece for far right causes.
Ralph check these guys out. Don’t know anything about them but they seem legit.
The American Hunters & Shooters Association.
Looks like they are a thing of the past.
timz: while they’re better about not getting involved in other political arena’s, they’re also weaker on the guns than the NRA.
Salle: I personally think every sane, law abiding person should have a gun or two. They’re not intrinsically much more dangerous than a power tool; you can kill yourself with a bandsaw or circular saw or chainsaw or whatever pretty easily if you screw around with them. Teach people how to handle them, and they’re not a big threat. Same for guns.
Paul – you can’t put a bandsaw in your nightstand drawer where your kids are likely to get it out and cut each other to pieces with it. Never heard of anyone reaching under the drivers seat to pull out a chainsaw and go after a law enforcement officer who just pulled them over.
Let’s face it, firearms are amazingly potent. Lots of power in a very portable, concealable package; and they allow you to project your will to harm from a safe distance from the thing you wish to harm. Even if you had a really good cordless package, you’d still have to get right up next to someone to hurt them with a circular saw. And multiple targets? Forget it.
Maybe someone on this site is up for the job? Perhpas they would be inclined to stay in the middle and create an organized group? Though many don’t have the knowledge on the legal end, surely someone here does?
There was a group formed that never really got off the ground, I believe Mac Brand started a NP several years ago?
Sadly, I haven’t seen him post here in a long time. He was quite a resource of information.
Quite some time ago, if not from the very beginning, the NRA has been a lobbying arm of the military industrial complex… think about this, they promote the sale and use of guns, insist that all citizens should have guns and get more outrageous in their claims as to why this is so much so that it has become obvious that all that argument is a smokescreen for the MIC to keep making more anti-personnel guns and ammo. Guess what else they won’t speak out on… street crime and accidental homicide by children getting their hands on guns and taking them to school and other atrocities that the NRA should be helping to bring an end to. Instead, what do they do other than inflate these foolish arguments and foment distrust among neighbors and fellow citizens.
The NRA is a front organization for right-wing zealots and the MIC among other “agents” that serve to upset the democratic process… “happiness is a warm gun…” They are one of the greatest threats to this country that has ever risen from brute force and ignorance… Few of their arguments pass intellectual muster.
The NRA press release I am sure was intended to bring attention to a group who was spreading false rumors about the position NRA has taken. As has been noted, the small group was fund raising, or trying to. This is not new and has been used by many smaller groups trying to look like they are the only “pure” organizations in whatever battle it is focusing on. They need to discredited, not just so the truth is served but also because liars should be exposed for what they are.
It’s really too bad that emotions have colored so many discussions of issues. Be it our enumerated Rights, property rights, the right to make a living or the desire to keep species from extinction. Both sides are to blame for this and neither seems willing to sit down and rationally discuss it without name calling and throwing insults.
Most hunters think of themselves as conservationists on several levels, both spending time and money understanding and appreciating their prey. Spending many hours in the field developing an understanding of the animal, its habits and having a vested interest in keeping a plentiful, healthy population of game animals. As well as public access to areas where they can hunt or fish that are healthy environments for those animals.
I would imagine even a wolf has some sort of appreciation for elk, deer, rabbits and whatever else is on the menu in the area that they live. I am fascinated by the fact that the obvious corollary between hunter and wolf is so disregarded among the discussions here. Both are predators that almost always eat their prey, sometimes kill for pure sport and sometimes don’t do the job as cleanly, so as to be “humane” in the dispatch of said prey. Both are highly familial, have pecking orders within their social structure and argue about that from time to time, often with severe results for the loser. Frankly, I am shocked that so many in this blog discussion have such a low opinion of hunters but such a high opinion of the wolf. Easily, character examples of both could be interchanged in the discussion, with a simple change of species and most of you would be delighted by the anthropomorphic interchange.
Having been raised in the Swan Valley in the 60’s, I grew up with wolves, bears and even salmon from Flathead Lake still running up the Swan River. It was a great place to grow up. It gave me a great and undying love of the outdoors and a love for fishing and hunting. I was also instilled with the knowledge and respect for both nature and it’s bounty, taught that good stewardship was an absolute necessity for it to continue. I took all of it very seriously. I never kill anything I wont eat unless it’s in self defense or there is some other real need that must be filled through the death of another animal. All life is precious. But I still kill rats in the backyard when they come to my attention.
Say whatever you like, I have broad shoulders. I am an active life member of the NRA and I know that the ESA has been abused by many of the path to making lawyers and organizations wealthy in the name of conservation. I have seen e-mails and documents that prove that to be true. I am making NO such claim here, but I do believe that for the good of both conservationists and hunters, as well as general use from the public, ESA needs to be changed. There needs to be some accommodations made for greater access to wilderness for the disabled, they are the public who owns the land too. As well there are some protected species that have no hope of recovery that cost us all millions every year, as well as cost to private landowners that is uncompensated.
Both sides get rich form the gap in between and are not interested in making commitments that both sides would hate, but could live with, since it mitigates their power, money and influence. I for one would welcome some peace and quiet, along with a chance to go fishing or hunting more often instead of trying to figure out what the next step is for someone to try make me a criminal and try taking my enumerated Rights away from me. I am not a criminal, I live by the law and social rules, am involved in making my community better and serve on the BOD of several charities.
Sorry this rambles on so much, but after spending several days reading the blogs here, and having knowledge of this particular root post, I felt the need to answer at least the first paragraph…the rest just poured out.
timz, I disagree, I am neither a hypocrite nor ill-informed.
You think of yourself as a conservationist yet you are a proud member of a group who supports those that would destroy everything you supposedly stand for. And since you seem to be informed I’ll go with hypocrite.
noun, verb, -diced, -dic·ing.
1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.
4. such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending.
5. damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.
I’m going to make an assumption based upon your comment. You’ll have some on this site disagree with you, some in the middle, and some who agree. I’m in the middle. I don’t know if you posted this on BBB or another site like that what the reaction would be, but my assumption would be that you might get flayed.
You are correct that until the “middle”actually sits and talks it through, wolves in particular and some of the other comments you made in general will be in limbo. I wrestle with your feelings about greater access to wilderness for the disabled. As my knees get more creaky, I would hope I still have enough good days ahead to still get out for extended periods of time, and I can’t fathom the ability to not do so, but I know that time will soon come my way. Lot’s of issues there, but like you, it’s just my opinion.
You expressed your points well.
I have a good friend that works for the HSUS. She has been trying to stop slob hunters from injuring pigeons and leaving them to die in the open fields of PA. A few months ago there was a legislative decision to ban pigeon shooting in the PA legislature when the NRA sent out one of their legislative alerts claiming falsely that this was “an attack on hunter rights”. I have a copy of this email alert which also claims that pigeon shooting is “humane”. If it was such a humane form of hunting why do hunters go throught he roof and become violent when they are filmed shooting these pigeons. This is just another of the ways the NRA is damaging the reputation of hunters and firearm enthusiasts who find these actions as offensive as non-hunters. We won’t even go into their stance on high volume gun clips. The NRA is a bllod drenched organization that is consumed by their self importance to block anything in the way of hunting or firearm reform
I never said I agreed with everything the do or say. Just like any large organization they sometimes do and say things that are not going to be my opinion. That’s one of the reasons I am an independent, not an R or D.
Well here’s where your dues are going. (From the article)
“Since 2000, the NRA has given $4,085,277 in campaign money to support the 193 Members of Congress who received poor conservation ratings from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and only $390,897 – 10 times less – to the 245 Members of Congress who have received high conservation ratings from LCV.”
“The following analysis compares the voting records of Members of Congress on three of the most crucial conservation votes with the NRA’s political endorsements and contributions. We also compared the NRA’s ratings and political contributions to the ratings of Members of Congress by two of America’s largest and most respected conservation groups. The bottom line? The NRA leadership’s biggest allies in Congress are helping to destroy the American wilderness.”
The article is from The American Hunters & Shooters Association.
On a somewhat related note , I was quizzing two representatives from my local chapter of Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife here in Cody Wyoming on local morning AM talk radio. They are having their annual fundraiser and banquet this weekend.
Wyoming has eleven chapters of SFW, but the Big Horn Basin is one of the most active. Turns out that 70 percent of the money they raise from dues and fundraising is sent to the state office to be used for lobbying. They said as much. Only 30 percent of any chapter’s money stays in the community to be used for real wildlife work or education and programs like Youth Gun Safety. An occasional project with statewide value is sometimes approved for funding in Cheyenne by SFW’s leadership .
What this confirms is what I’ve said all along…SFW is really just another elitist hunting organization who lobbies and lawyers up , just like the environmentalists they so despise.
They are better branded as “Sportsmen for Sportsmen”.
My own feeling is the NRA long ago went beyond their core missions gun safety and gun rights advocacy , stampeding out of bounds and off the Reservation .
SFW has mostly been there since Day One. Safari Club and the other bluechip hunter’s guilds are more subtle about it but no less political depending on the issue. They’ve all lined up against wolves in one way or another, since their organizations are cross-fertilized. I know many guys who belong to three or more of the clubs.
Alex: Here is my opinion, and just my opinion. I don’t find hunter’s as conservationists when they are protecting the animals they will eventually kill. Conservation helps whatever species, but if you believe yourself (not you in general) to be at the level of conservation just to ensure that the population will be stable so that you can have enough to kill, then I strongly doubt the purpose of these hunters calling them “conservationists”.
In 40 years, with most of your career behind you, you might look back and wonder how much more could have been accomplished had hunters and what you define as conservationists been able to come together on more issues. You never miss an opportunity to criticize hunters yet the larger threats facing wildlife and the wilderness in the United States today are corporate exploitation, the pollution and political corruption goes along with it, and overpopulation resulting in the reduction of habitat.
Daniel, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t true. Look at lions for one example, one of their biggest threats for their survival are trophy hunters. I think we can all say the biggest threat to the wolves in the northern rockies are the people who hate and despise them most, hunters and ranchers as these are the people who want to kill wolves off.
I had to do a survey on the ESA years ago and the question was: How many listed species on the threatened and endangered list are there due to habitat loss? The answer, all of them.
I agree 100 percent. Now, if only people who were more aware of this were in office, we would get some where!
Daniel: I fully understand that severity to species populations has to do more with the corporations, habitat loss and such then hunting does, but that is not the topic of discussion. I am sticking to and posting on what the topic is brought about by another. “You never miss an opportunity to criticize hunters…”, but you are foregoing the comments where I have agreed with hunting. Why? Seems like you are only reading what you want to from someone who you have different views with. Overpopulation, pollution, reduction of habitat, etc are all affecting populations of species as I mentioned, but they do not have a direct “hate” behavior towards certain species as certain hunters do. I do not find hunting to be a form of conservation, especially conserving individual animals to boost the population of the species just so that you can ensure there will be enough to kill. That is my opinion and is not put into print. It is like me making the excuse of buying a Ford car and saying that I did so to help the american car industry even though my money is not going to Chrysler or GM.
I think trophy hunting is merely a part of the lion’s issue, much the same as wolves. You must consider strongly habitat loss, distemper (a mjaor factor with both the species), famine, human conflict when giving the truth about the threats to these two species.
Surely agriculture has played a huge part in both as well.
I won’t argue pro hunting or anti. The point is simply this…while lobbiests and organizations go round and round trying to force their will in the matter, the ecological balances suffer. It makes more sense to use the monies for conservation, land purchase to eliminate leases for grazing, programs to study and contain the spread of human/domestic animal pathogens to predators, etc.
As you likely know, I have always been pretty middle of the road here. Even middle of the road can spark huge anomosity here. But I whole heartedly believe that the single best path for productive changes and conservation will be found amongst representation that can put emotion aside long enough to let a step forward be taken.
Too many times we forget that 2000 wolves are better than none. A hunted wolf in a pack is better than no packs at all. It isn’t always pretty to deal with the business of conservation. I have said repeatedly that if we are going to get “yes” responses to wolves, we are going to have to accept that their will be casualties and a hunt.
How the hunt occurs, and is regulated is far more worrisome to me than “if” it happens. It will happen, or we will have a resounding “not in my state” stance riplling through the government.
I think we lose sight o fthe fact that this is about politics. And politicians deal with smoke and mirrors and the absurd notion that everyone is ever going to be happy with the outcome, like no other people can.
Egos and huffiness need to be removed from the situation, and a realistic look at the core of it should be taken.
There are wolves. They are here and many don’t care to have that continue. If they become highly populated, hunting will happen. Many people will not approve of that. Many people will think that is not enough. at some point we will hear that they have ended a way of life. At some point we will hear that there is no place else for them to go. We need a plan fo rthat time, we need a plan for how many wolves can safely be supported in habitats to ensure disease doesn’t wipe out a species due to close proximity. We need a lot of things…none of which IMO are extreme, but scientific common sense.
I wonder if we considered human population growth, as compared to habitat decimation, what we would see? I would be fascinated to see how much habitat is lost due to industry, housing, natural disaster etc. My hunch is, a renewability model, and the requirement of an acre used being matched by one conserved would do wonders if implemented and enforced. But hey, dare to dream.
These organizations will lie about the wolves. They want the wolves killed along with the ranchers and senators of Idaho,Montana and Utah. Senators Jon Testers,Maxbaucus and Orrin Hatch of Uath and the Representative of Montana Denny Rehberg want the wolves eliminated.