In today’s 7 billion person world, issues about the management of wild places and wild things are being decided more and more by politicians, and less often by scientists. Lawmakers are increasingly becoming the decision makers on wildlife conservation and environmental issues.
The various state legislatures are where the majority of wildlife and sportsmen-related issues are being decided. With the exception of migratory birds and federal endangered species, each state controls the wildlife resources within its borders. So it stands to reason the State is the battleground in which the antihunters focus their energies and resources to steal sportsmen’s rights. Don’t think it can happen in your state? That’s what they said about the Michigan dove hunt, the California mountain lion, or one of the 18 states that has banned traditional bear hunting. But the battle hasn’t stopped there. In any given year, anti hunting groups will raise over 300 million dollars for the expressed purpose of banning hunting. And in this ever-more-political world, money means influence and influence is power.
But there is a viable method to defeat the anti’s. Yes, raising money is important, but an even more important asset is you…you, and I, and people just like us. When you and I get involved in the process, and let our voice be heard by the folks in Washington AND the state capital, things start happening. And in politics, the one thing that always trumps an elitist’s liberal initiative, is a grassroots movement.
In our system of government, it’s the people who hold the power, but only if we make our voice heard. It is imperative that we as sportsmen and women forge a solid, working alliance with our public officials to keep our issues relevant. We can be a powerful voice, but only if we use that voice. So pay attention to the issues, get involved in the fight, and let your voice be heard.