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Entries in environmentalists (6)

Thursday
Jun202013

Inactive Anglers Are Embarrassment in Fight for Bristol Bay and on Other Issues

Sadly, environmentalists and fishermen, who are conservationists, don’t have much in common these days. That’s because of much of the environmental agenda is inherently anti-fishing. 

Much of that stems from enviros refusal to differentiate between recreational fishing and commercial fishing.

As a matter of fact, anglers were among the first “environmentalists” because of their concern for clean water and healthy fisheries. Today, they contribute hundreds of millions of dollars annually for resource management through license fees and excise taxes on fishing tackle. And, unlike commercials, they keep only a tiny fraction of what they catch.

But stopping Pebble Mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay is one thing that enviros and anglers--- both recreational and commercial-- agree on. Its creation would lead to the devastation of one of the world’s few remaining unspoiled salmon fisheries.

More than 925 angling and hunting groups, as well as related businesses, now are on record as supporting EPA’s assessment of the danger and asking that agency to take the necessary steps to deny permitting for the mine.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post newspaper reports the following:

“Almost all the comments urging the EPA to block the mine have been generated by major environmental groups . . .

“The Natural Resources Defense Council produced 83,095 comments, more than any other group in favor of EPA action, while the Pew Charitable Trusts came in second with 41,158 comments.”

Now here is where you come in. You have until June 30 to voice your opposition to the mine. Go here to do so, and, in the process, enter a contest to win a fishing trip to Bristol Bay.

Thus far, the enviros have done most of the heavy lifting in producing comments. As of May 18, only about 6,000 sportsmen had participated.

In a nation where 60 million people describe themselves as anglers, that’s beyond pathetic.

“Sadly, fishermen have lagged, but not by any lack of effort,” said Scott Hed, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. “Keep America Fishing sent out two notices to their massive list. Many other groups and businesses sent action alerts and posted to their Facebook groups, whose collective number of followers is in the millions.”

So, what all of this tells me is that sometimes enviros and anglers can agree on an issue, and that’s a good thing. Maybe one will lead to more.

But it also suggests that we’re going to lose when we oppose them on any issue that requires grassroots support. Almost certainly we outnumber them, but too many anglers are content to just go fishing and leave standing up for our sport to someone else.

Mark my words: Eventually, that’s going to bite us in the butt big time.

Thursday
Aug232012

More California Craziness Shows What's Coming if President Is Re-elected

Dan Richardson lost his job as chairman of the California Fish and Game Commission for legally hunting a mountain lion in Idaho.

Once more I am warning you: Anglers and hunters will pay dearly for their passiveness if Barack Obama is re-elected.

A second term will mean an administration controlled by preservationists and environmental groups who revile fishing and hunting as much as they hate fossil fuels and free markets. They will make it their mission to use Executive Orders and agency regulations to shut down both sports as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

Certainly their views do not represent the majority of people in this country, but they are zealots with deep pockets. They can get what they want if we do not fight back with the power of the vote in November.

Sadly, California already has fallen to them, and it is the poster child for what they want to achieve nationally. The latest evidence is the removal of Dan Richards as president of the California Fish and Game Commission. Bowing to pressure from anti-hunting and animal rights groups, other commissioners unanimously voted him out.

His crime? Legally killing a mountain lion in Idaho and then posing for a photo with the carcass.

Of course, hunting mountain lions is illegal in the enlightened state of California.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation says this:  

“After the photo was published, anti-hunting state legislators circulated a letter threatening to remove Richards from the California Fish and Game Commission if he did not resign on his own. Undeterred and remaining steadfastly committed to standing up for California's recreational hunters and anglers, Richards refused to step down and legislators eventually abandoned their efforts to remove him from his post on the Commission.

“Despite being stripped of his leadership position, Richards has stated that he intends to remain on the commission through the remainder of his term which will expire in February 2013.”

Michael Bolton has a great piece about the difference between California and the rest of the nation at Al.com. His opening paragraph:

“California and Alabama aren't different states. They are different planets.”

And if we re-elect this President, we will suffer four more years of an administration pushing us to be more like California, which is totally alien to the values of most of us who fish and hunt.

 

Wednesday
Apr252012

Some in Congress Fight Back for Angler Access at Cape Hatteras

What the National Park Service (NPS) has taken away from anglers, some in Congress will try to restore.

This Friday, the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a hearing entitled “Access Denied: Turning Away Visitors to National Parks.”

Not long ago, the NPS chose to ignore both science and popular opinion and to bow to pressure from environmental groups in severely restricting access to a large portion of the world-renowned surf fishery at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.

 “The aptly titled Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act (HR4094) would effectively revoke the recent National Park Service consent decree that has begun closing huge areas of Cape Hatteras beaches,” says the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).

"I am very pleased that the National Parks Subcommittee has agreed to take up this bill," said North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, sponsor of the bill.

 "This is an urgent situation. The access restrictions mandated by the National Park Service's final rule are significantly impacting the Hatteras Island economy and are totally unnecessary to protect wildlife. This is about jobs, it's about taxpayers' right to access the recreational areas they own, and it's about restoring balance and common sense to Park Service management."

Jones’ bill would overturn a final rule implemented by the NPS in mid-February, as well as the 2008 U.S. District court approved Consent Decree. Both excessively restrict human access. The bill would reinstitute the Park Service's 2007 Interim Management Strategy (IMS) to govern visitor access and species protection in the recreational area. The Interim Strategy was backed up by a 113-page Biological Opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which found that it would not jeopardize the species of concern, namely piping plover and sea turtles.

"It doesn't take much for a preservationist to kick a fisherman off the water today whether by boat or by beach," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the RFA, which is supporting Rep. Jones' legislative efforts to protect angler access at Cape Hatteras.

"Anti-fishing groups are using whatever means necessary to deny angler's access to the fishing grounds, which in this case was another bloated lawsuit that has seriously impacted local businesses along the Outer Banks," Donofrio added. "RFA thanks Congressman Jones for getting this Committee hearing scheduled and leading efforts to protect our coastal fishermen."

RFA also reports this:

The House Natural Resources Committee at its website has noted that the decision to turn away surfcasters is in many ways similar to the implementation of “no take” marine reserves planned in other areas to ban boating anglers too.

"The National Park Service is pushing a new management plan at Biscayne National Park that will eliminate access to over 10,000 acres of sport fishing waters and dissuade visitation to other areas of the park," the background statement reads at the House Committee website. "Fishing is an important economic activity that draws tourists and provides locals with an excellent outdoor recreational opportunity."

"Access to Cape Hatteras National Recreational Area has been severely limited by Park Service management and environmental lawsuits under the guise of species protection. Not only have vehicles been restricted from areas traditionally available, but in some areas pedestrian access was eliminated as well," the statement read. 

Monday
Jan162012

Environmental 'Sharks' Circling Rosie O'Donnell

Okay, I generally don’t have much use for Rosie O’Donnell and her far-left view on most issues.

For example, she advocated the feds taking over BP following the oil spill in the Gulf:  “Call it Socialism, call it Communism, call it whatever you want . . . Seize their assets. Take over BP.”

Or how about this? “I don’t care if you want to hunt. I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say, ‘Sorry.’ It is 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and, if you own a gun, I think you should go to prison.”

But, hey, she likes to fish, which is getting her into all kinds of trouble these days, especially with her “friends” in the environmental community. Check it out here.

This tempest in a teapot is amusing at so many levels.

Monday
Jan032011

Feds Take Away Access at Cape Hatteras

The National Park Service (NPS) has adopted an off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area that closes extensive areas of the seashore to the public and severely limits ORV access to one of the premier surf fishing locations on the East coast.

According to the American Sportfishing Association, NPS adopted its preferred management plan "which severely curtails recreational fishing and other recreational activities beyond what is needed to address resource protection. The final ORV plan poses serious issues for the local economy, which is largely dependent upon tourism and recreation, such as surf fishing, because it prevents reasonable public access to many of the park’s best sportfishing areas."

The Virginian-Pilot reported, "The park service issued a decision that will, for the first time, permanently prohibit vehicle access to 26 miles of the 67-mile Cape Hatteras National Seashore, including some of the most popular spots. About 28 miles will be open to vehicles year-round, and another 13 miles will be open seasonally - usually Nov. 1 to March 31."

And the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance added, "“The plan is unnecessary and overly restrictive. It does not strike a reasonable balance between recreational use and protecting shorebirds.  It is a punch below the belt for local businesses already struggling with this difficult economy and severely impacts anglers in what is arguably one of the best fishing areas in the country.”

This is but one more example of an administration that believes preservation is better than conservation and we should "look but not touch" in the out of doors. No, we won't lose our right to fish all at once. It will be "death by a thousand cuts" unless we stand up and speak out.

And check out Why Anglers Aren't Environmentalists on this site to better understand about this dangerous divide.