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Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

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Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby ERIC » Thu May 01, 2008 7:46 am

Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Tom Stienstra, SF Chronicle Outdoors Writer
Thursday, May 1, 2008


(04-30) 21:48 PDT -- Maybe the lion will lay down with the lamb, after all.

In this case, the lion is the nation's hunters and anglers. The lamb is the hard-core environmentalists who make up the base of the 600,000-member Sierra Club.

With a Web site launched last week, sierrasportsmen.org, the Sierra Club is appealing directly to the passions and issues that engage hunters and anglers. In the process, the Sierra Club is embracing outdoorsmen as partners in a shared mission to protect habitat for fish and wildlife.

But you might ask: "What about the anti-hunters in the Sierra Club?" The answer is that 20 percent of Sierra Club members hunt or fish, about 118,000, according to the Sierra Club's Jon Schwedler, who runs Sierra Sportsmen, and that the organization supports hunting and fishing as part of its national platform.

"Sportsmen were some of the first conservationists, and have always been an important part of the Sierra Club," Schwedler said. "Our founder, John Muir, worked closely with Teddy Roosevelt to protect America's wild legacy."

It's true that the Sierra Club has its roots in the alliance of Muir, the environmentalist, and Roosevelt, the hunter. Their historic campout in Yosemite led to the symbol of the hunter/conservationist who protected the nation's wildlands and wildlife habitat. Somehow along the way, the groups occasionally have been polarized, like when a few local chapters opposed some hunts.

To bridge past differences, the Sierra Club is recognizing on its Web site that the quality of habitat, not legal fishing and hunting, determines the populations of fish and wildlife.

In Northern California, an example of how this partnership could work might be with the local Water4Fish.org, a group of Bay Area-based fishermen fighting to restore salmon, striped bass and sturgeon. They have collected 50,000 signatures this year in a mission to reduce water diversions from the delta to points south and increase flows into San Francisco Bay, and in the process, restore habitat and fish populations. With the Sierra Club integrating its support with Water4Fish, the impact could be profound for both organizations in the Bay Area.

"We're hoping that the network SierraSportsmen.org will help connect sportsmen across state lines on conservation issues," said Kristina Johnson at Sierra Club headquarters in San Francisco.

Hunters and environmentalists have joined forces with the National Wildlife Refuge system. It was founded to protect habitat, which both groups support. The refuges are paid for by hunters, primarily through the federal duck stamp, allowing hunting for a handful of waterfowl and upland game species, and yet protecting wetlands for 800 species of migratory birds.

"It's crucial that sportsmen and environmentalists work together more closely so we can help save the forests, plains, lakes, rivers and streams we all enjoy," Schwedler said.

E-mail Tom Stienstra at tstienstra@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page D - 7 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby Haiwee » Sat May 03, 2008 10:15 am

I've written often about this issue. Hunters were the first environmentalists. We donate millions of dollars to habitat conservation through license fees, user fees and excise taxes. I've often wondered why environmentalists and outdoor sportsmen haven't gotten along better. It's a natural alliance against the true threats to our environment: unbridled development and unfettered use of our natural resources.

I think both sides are to blame. Some in the environmental group have lost sight of the fact that hunters and anglers are not a real threat to wildlife; habitat loss is the true culprit. For our part, hunters in particular seem to be skeptical about the environmental movement, despite the fact groups such as the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society are openly trying to reach out to them. We need to get over this and join with them to form a powerful alliance against the corporate greed that should be our main opponent.
Check out my blog for my take on politics, environment and the outdoors: http://www.haiwee.blogspot.com
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby dave54 » Sat May 03, 2008 6:52 pm

Most people who call themselves environmentalists either don't know or wildly underestimate the amount of money hunting and fishing generates towards land and wildlife.

The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 placed a 10% tax on long arms and ammunition. The tax was later increased to 11%, and in 1970 expanded to handguns and archery equipment. The P-R tax raises approximately $200 million per year ($213 million in 2003, the all time high), that goes entirely to land and wildlife projects. (OK, one exception -- during the 1990's clinton diverted some of the P-R funds into the general fund so he could reduce the deficit. It was a republican, Don Young of Alaska, that authored the legislation to stop clinton's revenue grab and keep all the funds going to conservation purposes). In an ironic side note, since the expansion of the P-R tax to include handguns they now raise more of the P-R tax than hunting weapons. So the ongoing efforts by some political factions to ban handguns would have a secondary effect of reducing funding for wildlife and land conservation. #-o

In 1950 a similar taxing setup for fishing equipment was enacted, called the Dingell-Johnson Act. Raising funds for watersheds, hatcheries, and fisheries.

By some estimates, total amount of revenue raised by hunters and fishermen through licenses, fees, and taxes is $3.5 million PER DAY!

Note there is no similar tax on backpacking or camping equipment.
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby hikerduane » Sat May 03, 2008 8:45 pm

Thanks Dave. I was going to say, I don't think there is a special tax on bping gear.
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby mountaineer » Tue May 06, 2008 9:08 pm

Some in the environmental group have lost sight of the fact that hunters and anglers are not a real threat to wildlife;


How about MOST in the environmental movement. A ban on lead bullets for hunting will take effect on July 1st. What a load...there is no way they can prove that hunter's bullets poison the Condor. Sure doesn't seem to affect the Turkey Vultures and hawks! If you hunt in this area, good luck! Friggin' communists. I would not be surprised if this hastens the demise of the Condor.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/ ... ionAct.pdf
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby el cuervo » Wed May 07, 2008 8:43 pm

Maybe lead ingestion does affect turkey vultures and hawks.

Since there are less than 200 wild condors in CA, and surely many more hawks and TV's than 200, the loss of one condor is much easier to spot than a hawk or TV.
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby mountaineer » Thu May 08, 2008 5:11 pm

Maybe lead ingestion does affect turkey vultures and hawks.


And exactly how many Turkey Vultures and hawks have you seen lying around dead?
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Re: Enviros and hook-n-bullet set form unlikely alliance

Postby el cuervo » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:38 pm

(06-03) 17:46 PDT LOS ANGELES (AP) --

Seven endangered California condors — about 20 percent of Southern California's population — have been found with lead poisoning.
The birds started turning up sick about a month ago during random trappings at Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley.
One of the birds died during treatment at the Los Angeles Zoo and four others are still being treated there. A chick and its mother were sent to the zoo to undergo treatment.
Officials don't yet know the source of the contamination, but a U.S. Fish and Wildlife official said the birds were likely poisoned by eating the carcasses of animals that had been shot by hunters.
Lead poisoning is a known threat to the majestic birds and the main reason the state is about to ban hunting with lead bullets.
Jesse Grantham, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife condor coordinator, called the poisonings alarming and said the agency was in "crisis mode."
The California condor nearly went extinct in the 1980s, but a trapping and breeding program has helped restore the species. There are only about three dozen of the endangered birds in Southern California, and about 200 in the wild overall.
Experts believe lead poisoning is a major factor in preventing the species' recovery.
Under a ban that takes effect July 1, it will be illegal for California hunters to possess or fire lead ammunition when they are in the birds' habitat.

The above article appeared in the SF Chronical today:

< http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... .DTL&tsp=1>
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