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Washington State Hunting Under Attack Again
Your State Will Be Next!
This Friday, February 17th, Lorna Smith, a new commissioner to the WDFW, will present a radical new model of game management in Washington state. Past readers of this blog recall that in 2022 the WDFW commission canceled the annual spring bear hunt in Washington, claiming lack of scientific evidence for the hunt, despite 48 years of data and the elk population being significantly below target. The main reason for the cancellation of this hunt had to do with the commissioners that our governor has appointed, the majority of whom are anti-hunting. This appears to be the next move in this high stakes game of chess for our hunting heritage.
This radical new model of game management is straight out of the playbook of Wildlife for All, an anti-hunting organization whose entire premise is to “focus on biodiversity conservation, not management of consumptive uses.” The other group involved is Washington Wildlife First, whose website explicitly states their mission is to “Elevate Conservation over Consumption”. Their website also actively pushes for adding commission members who align with this new way of thinking. The playbook of these anti-hunting, extremist organizations is to load up wildlife commissions with people who think the same way and then, from within, make these changes. Washington sits at ground zero in this battle.
Items on the agenda to be discussed on Friday include a multitude of topics, all of which fall in line with this new way of thinking. Setting the stage with topics such as: “Washington wildlife is part of the Public Trust”, “Changing faces, changing values, changing funding support”, and “including other species as a protected species, i.e. coyote, ground squirrel”. It is clear that this monumental shift is a direct attack on hunting and trapping and will be detrimental to science based wildlife management in the state.
Interestingly enough, under Wildlife Management Issues, one of the first topics talks about Best Available Science, which was conveniently ignored when deciding to eliminate the spring bear hunt. I wonder what else falls under that category or stands to be ignored.
Hunters need to get involved in politics at the state level, RIGHT NOW! Make no mistake, these groups have a national campaign. On the homepage of Wildlife for All, it says “Wildlife for All is a national campaign to reform state wildlife management to be more democratic, just, compassionate, and focused on protecting wild species and ecosystems”. For those who want to provide comments on this agenda please email [email protected]. The days of sitting on the sideline are over, it’s time to get involved in your state and go on the offensive before this type of change gets a footing in your state. It WILL happen, make no mistake!
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