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April 17, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Sierra Club Launches Sportsmen’s Network

From a Sierra Club press release:

It’s all about protecting habitat. That’s the common ground and common cause of conservationists and sportsmen. As mining, drilling, development and global warming increasingly threaten quality hunting and fishing opportunities, more and more sportsmen are joining forces with other conservationists to protect wildlife and wild places.

Now the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization has launched a campaign to connect the 20 percent of its members (118,000 people) who hunt and fish with other sportsmen across the country who care about conservation. . . .

The Sierra Club’s new Sierra Sportsmen organizing site, www.sierrasportsmen.org will serve as a hub for hunters and anglers, allowing them to connect with each other beyond state lines, find out about conservation issues that affect them, help pass on outdoor traditions to the next generation, restore local streams, protect game habitat, and fight global warming.

It’s no secret that the Sierra Club’s relationship with sportsmen has been somewhat strained historically. That said, do you give them credit for reaching out to us now? Or not?

Comments

Jason

This has got to be pretty high on the list of things entitled "Why didn't anyone think of this before."

There is alot of common ground for enviromentlists and sportsmen, along with other outdoor enthusiasts.

Mike Diehl

I agree with Jason. Most of the environmentalists out there are not crazy luddite wackos with some deluded fantasy about living a life of veganism in psychic commune with all the animals. Most of 'em are concerned citizens tired of having outsiders crap up their back yards.

Sportsmen and the rational elements of Sierra and Nature Conservancy have a hundred reasons to make common cause.

Phillip

I just put my impressions of this up on my own blog (The Hog Blog), but in short, I agree that it's definitely a positive opportunity. What sportsmen do with it is really going to determine whether it flies or dies, though.

There's an awful lot of skepticism and distrust between groups like Sierra Club and the many hunters who think (wrongly) "environmentalist" equals "anti-hunter".

Bucker

Mike D. has it right when he says "the rational elements" of Sierra and NC should find common ground with sportsmen.

Unfortunately not all elements of Sierra are rational, at least when it comes to hunting. The president of the NJ chapter of Sierra has been fighting the bear hunt here (with a lot of success) for years.

Then again, I've known some irrational hunters, too.

And, I imagine they're fighting their own internal battles over this outreach program, with those Sierra officials who despise hunters. They'll probably lose some membership over this.

In the end, I suppose we have more in common with Sierra than what we don't have in common with them. . . and they realize that. So I give them credit.

SilverArrow

Agreed! Common ground and lots of it. It will also give us a chance to polish our image with people who do care a lot and influence decisions about land use and conservation issues. Most of them ARE rational omnivores who want a cleaner planet for their kids and grandkids -- I do too!
There are more radical elements in Sierra though and we do need to recognize that not all of the agenda is going to benefit us.
SA

ethan

Yeah, about that....

I agree that there is a lot of common ground between sportsmen and the rational segment of the Sierra Club membership. And because of this I give them some credit for reaching out to us sportsmen.

But the problem still remains that the extreme envrionmentalist segment of their membership has not just somehow been negated or melted away.
That said, until the rational, normal, omnivorous segment extracts itself from the Sierra Club, or expells the non-rational, granola-crunching wackos from their ranks, I myself cannot in good conscience align myself with the Sierra Club in any way other than to simply say "We're both concerned about the future of the environment and the ecosystem." Otherwise, reconciling and uniting those concerns into unilateral action is impossible.

Andrew

The leadership Sierra Club has been taken over buy New York City liberals (literally) who have used the organization to push their own agenda and Democratic politicians. I was a member of the Sierra Club for many years and will never join as long as these people are in charge. The membership may be rational but it doesn't matter if the steering policy and giving out endorsements are moveon.org types. Don't be fooled this group is not our friend.

Andrew

The leadership Sierra Club has been taken over by New York City liberals (literally) who have used the organization to push their own agenda and Democratic politicians. I was a member of the Sierra Club for many years and will never join as long as these people are in charge. The membership may be rational but it doesn't matter if the people steering policy and giving out endorsements are moveon.org types. They are pushing gun control and fighting bear hunting in NJ as we speak.

DJM

I realize that the Sierra Club may be seen by many as "anti-anything anti-outdoors". aka: anything that hurts the outdoors such as "hunters"(that being the extremists). However, how many people out there view hunters as cold blooded killers? ya'll know who im talkin about, the people that dont really know what we do and stand for. Maybe this alliance will allow many of those people to think "wait. Hunters,extreme environmentalists.... hold up." they will then see the connection we share, and us outdoorsmen all round will benifet.

DJM

John R

I think it is a good idea in concept however I sort of agree with Andrew. The rank and file membership of the Sierra Club are probably decent Joes. It is usually the chiefs that lack the problem.
I had a close association with the Nature Conservancy. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a 3 day hydrology seminar with NC stewards from all over the US. I expected to be with a bunch of bunny huggers and liberals and leanside I found out that almost all of them were hunters and my roomate had just gotten a nice turkey prior to the seminar in his home state.
Back then the NC was just starting the concept of allowing hunting on its lands to control and keep healthy populations of wildlife such as deer and reduce the number of destructive animals such as feral hogs.
The second day of the seminar we were visted by NC "bigwigs" from DC (the capitol). I was cautioned by a steward not to mention any of the new hunting programs because there were those in leadership that were strongly opposed to it.
I suppose the moral of this story is that often the leadership of an organization doesn't necessarily reflect the views of its rank and file members.
That was over 10 years ago and the NC has recognized the value of sportsmen who also support conservation and they offer hunting opportunities in many states utilizing hunters as a viable game mangement resource.
The problem as I see it is getting more sportsmen elected to top positions in these organizations.

John R

Oops, lack should be cause in my first paragraph.

WA Mtnhunter

I belonged to the Sierra Club in my misguided youth before it was taken over by the enviro-Nazi's.

I ditched them about 20 years ago. So now they are on our side? About like the Weather Underground, I'm sure. I saw they have a banner on the Gun Nut blog.

I would beware of that organization until they demonstrate their true intentions, which will take time.

seawolf4

Government and politicians listen to NUMBERS.( Period)!

Otherwise their Sorry Butts will not get reelected.

Maybe both sides have to eat a little CROW for the common good.

Yes there are Many Wacho's in the Sierra club and also Many Wacho's in the Nature Conservancy but if somehow we can help each other the Earth might be a better place for all.

Heck even the NRA needed a shake up years ago and is now better for it.

If not them we might all wind up in Starbucks drinking a Latte with nowhere to hike, hunt of fish.

Maybe not Starbucks! LOL

At $4.00 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks I can buy a turkey diaphragm call.

I have never seen a housing development or Strip mall torn down and replace with trees and forest.

Once its gone its gone forever!

Seawolf

Andrew

The Sierra Club has become a political lobby run by liberal activists. Do not be fooled by this "outreach" it is a ploy to try and get sportsman to pull the donkey lever. They will use this group and it's mailing list to counter the NRA and pro-hunting groups in the next election.

The Sierra Club has opposed hunting all over the country and the leadership of the organization contributes large sums of money to politicians who want to band handguns (like Obama). This has been going on for decades. They were instrumental in killing the NJ bear hunt through costly litigating. I lived there and followed this debate. They would rather pay game agents to kill bears that collect money from bear hunters- that is the true mentality of the Sierra Club.

NH Philosopher

This partnership looks good on paper and by watering down their rhetoric, the Sierra Club, can increase their membership, marketing lists and ultimately influence in the debates on the Hill - to which end, I am not completely sure. They have a questionable record when it comes to hunting & fishing...

In Theory, I'd support this. BUT the Sierra Club will have to do more than put up an online community/blog to influence me to join with their ranks. They will need to fight with us - in lock step - on issues surrounding our sports. I'm not sure they're willing to do that.

Also: Why does only 20% of their membership hunt of fish? What does the other 80% of their membership think of this and how will they interact with our small and shrinking community of outdoorsmen & women?

I'm cautious and not optimistic.

robet

the sierra club is not our friend. period and never will be. why is everyone still talking about global warming?? havent u read the news??? yikes lol

John R

The donkey lever...LOL good one!

Jason

Well I just spent about 20 or 30 min. on their websight. I did not see one mention of anything having to do with hunting of fishing one way or the other. The only thing it did say was that they try to partner with sportmen to protect the envirment. I hate to say it, but it seems to be that this enviromental group is an enviromental group. Don't get me wrong I can see why conservitives would hate them. But when i went through the last 4 years of laws that they supported and oppossed, not one seemed to have anything to so with hunting or fishing. They mostly had to do with keeping water clean and adding more forests to public land. I don't know about you all, but I don't hunt or fish indoors much. Please check out their sight for yourselfs. I went to their regular sight and not just their sportmen one. I think you will see what i am ssying they are pretty focused on the enviroment.

Jason

Oh here is the Seirra clubs Hunting and fishing photo contest. Good luck ya'll...

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierrasportsmen/photocontest/

Scott in Ohio

Lets work with them and see how it turns out.




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