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Conservation Vs. Regulation

newsletter 7 15 conservation vs regulation (1)

Most of us can agree that conservation is not regulation. If you find yourself in a slight state of confusion over the two, here is the fundamental difference. Conservation resides in the world of “yes” and regulation mostly orbits the dark side of “no.” The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wild Sheep Foundation work in conservation. The effort put forth to improve a resource for future generations with actions that work and create results. They honestly believe they can make a difference in the overall outcome they work so hard to create and measure as improvement. The Federal Fish and Wildlife, Friends of Animals, Humane Society and about 50% of the populations in California and Oregon think they can create the same results with regulation, legislation and litigation. All three of these words do nothing for wildlife in the end and only generate divisive political outcomes that inevitably end up in our corrupt, broken and dysfunctional court system. This is the realm of, no you can’t fix it, only we (government) can.

The ESA (Endangered Species Act) was created within these very boundaries. Politicians who knew nothing about wildlife management, passing a bill written by lobbyists who knew nothing about wildlife management, consulted by “experts” who might know a little bit about wildlife management because they read a few books on the subject once upon a time dealt to them by a professor who only saw the outside of a classroom when he traveled to Woodstock one hot August weekend in 1969. Although the intentions of the ESA at the time may have been well and good, the outcomes of the ESA have been a disaster for wildlife management and conservation in America.

Wolves, grizzly bears and possibly the sage grouse and wolverine all fall into this category. At this point, it looks like Wyoming will not get its right to hunt and control wolf populations back for the 2015 hunting season. The outcome of our precious wildlife resource resides beneath the finger of an activist judge in Washington D.C. I’m sure we can all be rest assured that the matter is in good hands with the experts on the subject who have the best interest of our state and its wildlife resource at the forefront. Yeah, right. This is not conservation ladies and gents, this is politics.

Our wildlife is much better off in the hands of people who actually care, people like responsible state game and fish managers, with the help of true conservation organizations like RMEF, WSF, SCI and the Boone and Crockett club giving valuable external funding for projects and oversight in management decisions that improve the resource. Not put it on ice in a courtroom somewhere while lawyers and lobbyists get rich and build their personal resumes off the destruction of the resource. The people in Washington know that if they control the top layer of the food chain, nothing else matters. Like the bull ring in a cow’s nose, they can easily lead and sway the entire process to their favor.

Every time I hear the word “conservation” I always measure the context and source of its use. Sometimes, it’s improperly used and referenced by some very unlikely sources.

GuySig-1 (1)

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

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  1. Paul Trainoff

    Bullseye! As a California hunter and wildlife lover I have watched in horror as our uninformed voters, greedy polititions and so called animal rights groups have done nothing but a disservice to our fish and game.

  2. Ernie Turybury

    SAS… “shoot and shutup” that’s how to deal with predator problems. It’s a shame the same technique isn’t used on those political problems. I have my own way of dealing with uncontrolled predators taking down game animals that I see fewer and fewer of each year… but you didn’t hear that from me!

  3. I’m another California hunter. They are forcing us to give up lead bullets and shotshells. Wrong for many reasons. Out here many more condors and other raptors are killed by industrial scale windfarms than could ever get sick from injesting hunter’s lead fragments. Thousands of birds are incinerated at the Ivanpaw solar plant that needs to burn natural gas to keep the turbines going. Environmentalists and PC legislators run ammuck! Our California Fish and Game is now called Fish and Wildlife. An ever dwindling number of hunters still pay the bills for an agency whose mission now includes way too many issues unrelated to wildlife conservation and hunting.

  4. Embarrassing and uninformed. How belittling to use the phrase “a trip to Woodstock in 1969” in reference to wildlife academics who dedicate many years of blood, sweat and tears to research and further awareness of the field of conservation biology.

    • I’m pretty sure he wasn’t speaking literally when he referenced professors who only saw the outside of a classroom when they went to Woodstock and I’m a little embarrassed for you that you took it that way. Btw, what have ever contributed to the benefit of wildlife? My guess is not much.

      • In fact, I have contributed much of my adult life- beginning with a bachelor’s in Natural Resource Management, creating habitat for native bird species on O’aho, working with a PhD research project on elk habitat (aspen, browsing competition) in Glacier National Park, and volunteering with sage-grouse improvement projects in Eastern Oregon. But thanks for your negative assumption.

  5. Guy, thank you, well written article. It should be included on the editorial page of every news paper in the U.S. Also the organization “Big Game Forever” is an excellent group of hunters fighting for rights. Thank you again for all you do.

  6. There is lots of gray areas here which have been addressed in a black/white, or us/them fashion. This article is an oversimplification of a complex problem, and how could one expect to address the issue in just a few paragraphs. Conservation is implemented through regulations. The rules established by State fish and game agencies such as method of take, bag limits, and hunting seasons are regulations. They say you may not harvest 20 deer in a season, or use a punt gun for waterfowl, etc. Just because one is established by the state and others are set by the Feds doesn’t change their status, they are both regulations. Litigation usually is not the best answer, however, that is the system we operate in. People that don’t under stand game and wildlife management, and how we have been doing it for 75-100 years contibute to the problem with their misconceptions of what hunters are doing out in them thar hills. Poachers and rule breakers/benders aren’t helping the perception of hunters either in the the non hunting public. The main reason there is no hunting/management of wolves in Wyoming is that basically their plan sucks and is a sellout to livestock growers in the state. Under Wyoming’s former plan there would be no hunting in the Nat. Parks, a sliver of buffer land where they are classified as “Trophy game” and then across that line, throughout the rest of the state they are predators and it’s shoot on site 365 days a year. Meanwhile, in Idaho and Montana wolves have been being hunted for 4 or five years now. Turns out they are really hard to hunt. So consequently in Idaho we’re even trapping them to increase take and achieve population objectives. However, Fish and Game has put a quota (a form of regulation) of 30 wolves in my part of the state. The endangered species act has a place in our world because losing any species is a loss for all of us. Whether it’s wolves, sage grouse or or some kind of stream darter. I think the ESA holds us as humans accountable for our actions and development within their habitats. The Bald
    Eagle was on the list at one point and is now restored to healthy populations. Just my thoughts on this………… Let em rip boys…..

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