[Tweeters] Executive Order banning hunting (and how it affects birders)

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 1 04:33:19 PDT 2017


I’m not sure how to respond to this one — emotionally, it sounds good for now for wildlife, but intellectually I know this doesn’t bode well.. Here’s the article:

(Washington DC) Today, in his seeming quest to alienate yet another formerly loyal segment of the population, President Trump signed an executive order severely limiting the use of firearms for hunting purposes. Confusing Republican party officials and the NRA alike, Trump’s new order would cut off the hunting seasons for deer, elk, waterfowl and game birds.

Citing the desire to slash spending at the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the President announced that beginning in 2018 hunting will no longer be allowed for most animals. Not surprisingly, traditional gun rights groups are alarmed. According to the President: “My lawyers have assured me that this order would have no effect on the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms — a beautiful amendment, very beautiful. I totally support it. Instead, this order will Make America Great Again by turning our guns on their real targets — bad people. Hunting is a distraction from the very real and very important right of Americans to defend themselves against other people.”

Concerns were also raised that this might be a necessary first step to clear the way for the long-desired sell-off of public lands. Until this order, hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts were united in their opposition to all proposals to privatize federal lands. Once this ruling is in place, the gun lobby will perhaps no longer have much at stake in the land-ownership issue. Wildlife biologists warn that without hunting, species such at deer may wreak havoc on ecosystems.

Exceptions to the order do exist: In what is being hailed as a concession to his sons’ well-known penchant for big game hunting in Africa, the law will not seek to enforce any hunting limits outside the US. And species recently removed from the Endangered Species Act will receive a ‘grandfather clause’ allowing hunting for the first 10 years after removal. Citing this provision, Trump noted that “it is only fair that hunters at least have a chance to shoot some of these animals after they were cruelly protected by law, bad law, for so many years.” Some on the left contend that the seeds for this exception can be found in Trumps embarrassing encounter with a Bald Eagle, as captured in a widely-shared gif [ http://imgur.com/gallery/ibRmRi6 <http://imgur.com/gallery/ibRmRi6> ].

I know it may be controversial, but I think in the end, the birding community should show their solidarity with hunters and speak up against this executive order Sure it will be nice to bird Eide Road without the gunfire but I think the consequences long-term are not worth that peace and quiet. I look forward to further discussion.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA
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