Here’s a noncontroversial statement: When you own land, you are free to use it as you wish, subject to restrictions put there to protect the rights of other landowners and the public commons. That’s the definition of ownership.
Why then, is the Alaska congressional delegation, at the urging of the NRA and Safari Club, trying to steal 76 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge land by revoking a Fish and Wildlife Service rule banning barbaric hunting practices overwhelmingly opposed by the American people, the legal owners of the land?
What sort of practices? Scouting grizzlies with aircraft for trophy hunters on the ground, or baiting them for a point-blank kill; killing hibernating bears and their cubs, or wolves and coyotes and their pups, at den sites; even trapping bears with cruel, vicious steel-jawed leg-hold traps and wire snares.
Pretty sporting stuff, huh? Would you let people hunt wildlife on your land like that? Me neither, and that is what FWS concluded after an exhaustive, lengthy, transparent rule-making process.
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If you don’t want wild places you are part owner of turned into some kind of Disneyland for rich trophy hunters, tell your senator to oppose S.J. Res 18.
James Atkinson, Fresno