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October 25, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Edwards Proposes “Hunting and Fishing Bill of Rights”

Yesterday, with support from the 350-member Iowa Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Edwards Committee, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards proposed a federal "Hunting and Fishing Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” he says is designed to improve access, protect gun ownership, preserve clean water for fishing, secure our public-land national heritage, and empower citizens to be better stewards.

From IowaPolitics.com:

“Growing up in small, rural towns, I learned early that America has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources,” said Edwards. “Just as it is our right to enjoy America’s forests, mountains, fields and streams, it is also our responsibility to protect them for generations to come. But the Bush Administration has waged war on the environment, putting corporate interests ahead of our natural heritage at every turn. It’s time to reverse this destruction and renew our commitment to protecting our natural treasures.”

Check out the full press release and tell us your reaction.

Comments

ethan

What good is preserving our natural resources, if no one is allowed to set foot in our wilderness areas, even for simple purpose of enjoying them?
What good does voting a "green-peace," environmetal radical to office do for the environment? Sure, it may limit human impact on wilderness areas...to the point of there being no human involvement or interaction at all.

I personally would much rather be assured that I will be allowed to legally keep my guns, and have the citizens of the private sector, rather than some governmental beauracracy, work to preserve the natural resources that we use for recreation.
And I believe that the private sector, if given the right incentives and motivations can probably do a better job of managing our natural resources than the government.

r napolitano

Edwards and the second ammendment, PLEASE, dont make me laugh. Chuck (where's the camera) Schumer said that Edwards is to the left of him and they are both out the door when it comes to sportsmen. Look at what Corzine is doing in New Jersy, Banned the bear hunt, changing the DEC by putting Peta people on the board, Spitzer in New York regulating black powder rifles. They all say they are for sportsman rights and the second ammendment, until they get elected. Beware the wolf in sheeps clothing or else the nose of the camel will be where we dont want it, right up our backsides.

Jack

The average age of our hunting and fishing population is rising dramatically. Edwards responds to this by making more Federal Land inaccessable to the older segment of the population.
Here in Michigan, ATV use has been curtailed dramatically on U.S. Forest Service lands. Most deer hunters use these to get their deer out of the woods but you cannot use ATV's on existing logging roads. We already had ATV rules for wild lands in this state that outlawed disturbing hunters during peak times.
We are watching declines in every aspect of outdoor recreation and our officials can' figure out why.
I believe if Edwards is elected we'll see a lot more people get out of our sports
Jack

Mike

I have to respond to these comments from Ethan:


""What good is preserving our natural resources, if no one is allowed to set foot in our wilderness areas, even for simple purpose of enjoying them?""


Wilderness areas allow hiking, hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, mountain climbing, scouting for game, and all other non-motorized or mechanical recreational activities.

Where did you ever get the idea that you couldn't set foot in a wilderness area? Our nations best hunting grounds are wilderness areas.

""I personally would much rather be assured that I will be allowed to legally keep my guns, and have the citizens of the private sector, rather than some governmental beauracracy, work to preserve the natural resources that we use for recreation.
And I believe that the private sector, if given the right incentives and motivations can probably do a better ""

No, they can't. Why do you think the only wild areas left in the natioanare in national forests and national parks? Why is that the state and county land systems are so less wild? The national forests were created to preserve our best hunting and fishing lands FROM local control. Some very smart people with foresight realized that local corruption was killing off our best habitat, and thus national forests were created.

Anyone who thinks that private lands will provide a better hunting experience than wild national forest lands simply hasn't seen much of the country. It's the exact opposite. Want variety in game? NAtional forests. Want the best trout, pike and smallmouth fishing? National forests. Best big game hunting? National Forests. Best wild outdoor experiences? National Forests.

There's a reason why. Local control corrupts and wipes out wildlands. Local business are too close to the decision makers on the ground in those areas.

If it wasn't for the national forests and parks, our outdoor heritage would be considerably less. We would look more like Europe.

Mike

Response to Napolitono:


"The average age of our hunting and fishing population is rising dramatically. Edwards responds to this by making more Federal Land inaccessable to the older segment of the population."


The land is already roadless. how is that making it innaccesible? There are already 400,000 miles of roads through or national forests, far more than our interstate system.


""
Here in Michigan, ATV use has been curtailed dramatically on U.S. Forest Service lands. ""


Mainly because many bad apples didn't follow established trails and roads, but rather started illegal trails which damaged the forests.

Jack

Mike
I believe you were talking to me but I fail to make the connection to either the Governor of Arizona or the retired jurist from New Jersey.
In Michigan's Upper we selectively cut our hardwoods about every fifteen years. The roads are in place and the soils are stable so they support both the logging equipment and ATV's.
This logging provides much needed summer range for Whitetails and bear. These roads also provide access in the event of forest fire.
If Edwards is elected there will probably be more restricted access to these lands. Some will have the roads obliberated, others will be posted against anything but walk-in access.
Also, the Ruffed Grouse Society has been very active in his area making sure that enough Aspen clearcuts are made to insure a healthy Grouse population. If more of this land is designated Roadless or Wilderness, this land will be unavailable.
Frankly, I believe that a vote for this person will be a disaster for sportsmen and women.
Jack

Mike

""In Michigan's Upper we selectively cut our hardwoods about every fifteen years. The roads are in place and the soils are stable so they support both the logging equipment and ATV's.
This logging provides much needed summer range for Whitetails and bear.""

The problem with the U.P. is there's no balance. Everything has been logged out. For example, the Ottawa National Forest is a million acres, but only 60,000 acres are actually close to wilderness.


The reduction of wildife habitat from over-logging has reduced the choice of game that can be hunted in the UP,such as elk, moose, and cougar.

Too many clearcuts brought to many white tail deer, which in turn brought the brain worm to the moose.

""These roads also provide access in the event of forest fire.
If Edwards is elected there will probably be more restricted access to these lands. ""


How so? The president has very little if any control over private lands, and the Roadless Rule wouldn't even effect the Ottawa National Forest save for 4,000 acres, which is sad. And even then, the Roadless Rule has nothing to do withaccess. I'm not sure where you got your information from.

""Some will have the roads obliberated, others will be posted against anything but walk-in access.""


Too many roads is bad for hunting and fishing. Too many roads silt streambeds and reduces protective cover for species like elk , moose, bighorn, cougar and other big game.

"""
Also, the Ruffed Grouse Society has been very active in his area making sure that enough Aspen clearcuts are made to insure a healthy Grouse population. If more of this land is designated Roadless or Wilderness, this land will be unavailable. ""


I've got news for you - the entire U.P. is one big giant clearcut. Why are you owrried about 4,000 acres of roadless land in the Ottawa with the millions upon millions of acres of roaded, motorized,and chopped land in the U.P.? And even so, the Roadless Designations would allow for all hunting, so again I;m not sure where you are getting your information from.


""
Frankly, I believe that a vote for this person will be a disaster for sportsmen and women.""


Actually, this would be a huge improvement. Go ask the folks in Colorado and Wyoming what happened to their favorite hunting grounds.

Jack

We never have had too many Bighorn or Elk in the U.P. We have Moose, which do catch brainworm from Deer. We have too many deer in the moose area, but that's more related to the mild winters where the moose live. I wish that I could hire a plane and take Mike on an aerial tour of this area. It is true that there is clearcutting going on but there is also a vast forest canopy out there.
Another thing that I would like to show Mike is the changes in forestry that have occured within the last twenty years. We look for wildlife corridors and leave these intact. Also, trout streams are buffered and crossings are protected to minimize silting. People who trout fish tell this appears to be working.
Also, please don't cite Colorado as a success story. That state made a decision to get out of commercial forestry twenty years ago. Do you have any idea how much we spend every year to suppress forest fires in that state? Also, I have to believe that all that ash contributes to air pollution and global warming.
Jack

Mike

""We never have had too many Bighorn or Elk in the U.P. We have Moose, which do catch brainworm from Deer. ""


My point about bighorn was roadless areas in general. They are a highly sought after big game species that occur primarily in roadless areas. Elk requie breeding security offered by roadless areas, one of the reasons they don't exist in the U.P. anymore.

Moose were wiped out due to too many clearcut, which brought intoo many deer, which passed on the brainworm to the moose.


""We have too many deer in the moose area, but that's more related to the mild winters where the moose live.""


The moose were wiped out because of habitat loss, overhunting, lack of wild areas and of course the brainworm. They were reintroduced in the mid 80's to the wildest part of the U.P. , an area with lower road densities and white tail numbers(one of the last few in the U.P.) in hopes of resorting a new population. That population is truggling to grow beyond that older growth border because of massive habitat loss and brainworm from too many deer. Once upon a time, the U.P. was the domain of the moose, not the white tail.


""I wish that I could hire a plane and take Mike on an aerial tour of this area. It is true that there is clearcutting going on but there is also a vast forest canopy out there.""


99% of it is second growth and thousands of miles of roads.


""
Another thing that I would like to show Mike is the changes in forestry that have occured within the last twenty years. We look for wildlife corridors and leave these intact. Also, trout streams are buffered and crossings are protected to minimize silting. People who trout fish tell this appears to be working.""

Many U.P. streams are not what the were even in the early 90's. Silting is a big problem. The coaster brook trout are gone due to silting from streams from excess roads and clearcuts, and haven't returned.


""
Also, please don't cite Colorado as a success story. That state made a decision to get out of commercial forestry twenty years ago. Do you have any idea how much we spend every year to suppress forest fires in that state? ""


Colorado has several million acres of protected and unprotected wilderness. It's much wilder than Michigan, and it's also much *drier*.

forests burn, wether roaded or in the wilderness. Climate change is chaning this for the future.

Here's a good article on science based forestry management:

http://www.newwest.net/citjo/article/fostering_better_forest_policy_with_science/C33/L33/


""Also, I have to believe that all that ash contributes to air pollution and global warming.""


Of course it does. And cliamte change is one of the main causes, too.

Jack

I still think that we have to focus on the main priorty. I remember a couple of years ago, there was a treaty that would have made illegal, many guns that some of us use only for sporting purposes. These include most semi-auto rifles and shotguns. This treaty would need the President's signature and Senate ratification. I heard that George Soros and MoveOn. org were big proponents of this treaty. Also, there is at least one Supreme Court Justice who is waiting for GWB to be replaced so that he can retire, knowing that his replacement will focus on
"the evolving U.S. Constituion" that's the one that recognizes that certain amendments like the Second are no longer essential to our health and well-being.
I hope that we can put our differences aside and focus on a candidate who will respect both our national sovereignity and our constitution as it was drafted by some of the smartest men in all of world history.
I also hope that we don't get stuck with a President who is beholding to a man like George Soros.
Jack

Goofus

There is no Democrat that can ever be trusted with the interests of hunters, and damn few Republicans. (Sorry Theodore, I know you were a good dude.)
The problem is that the vote always seems to run 50-50. Both sides need a few extra votes to win. Expect to be sucked up to by both sides.
I'd say it's best to go by past performance instead of future promises. The record is available in numerous places on the web. What Edwards did in the past has already been mentioned.
Scratch him off.




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