California: "DFG in tug-of-war between hunters, anti-hunters"


PDA






cuchulainn
March 29, 2003, 10:09 AM
from the SF Chronicle DFG in tug-of-war between hunters, anti-hunters

Tom Stienstra

The debate over two anti-hunting bills has put the Department of Fish and Game right in the middle of a tug of war between long-time adversaries. On one side are hunters, often from rural areas, who have funded conservation programs though license fees, hunting tags and donations to protect and restore wildlife populations through habitat work.

On the other side are anti-hunters, usually from cities, who usually oppose any form of hunting.

Then there's the DFG, right smack in the middle, which manages wildlife and is funded largely by a variety of user fees, including from hunters.

"There's a big fiscal impact, the economic benefits of hunting," said Lorna Bernard, who completed an analysis of the bills for the DFG. Yet at the same time, the growing urban populations in California "are less supportive of hunting," she said. "And that's the trend we're seeing," Bernard said, "a more urbanized population."

One proposal, AB 342, would make it illegal for hunters to use dogs when hunting mammals such as bears, raccoons and rabbits. The other, Assembly Bill 1190, would remove dove as a gamebird and ban hunting them. According to the DFG, populations of both bear and dove are in good condition in California.

The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife originally scheduled to hear both bills on Tuesday, but that hearing has been reset for April 9. The bills are supported and contested by polarized opposites. The most notable support is coming from the Humane Society, which wrote and sponsored what is known as "The Dog Bill," AB 342, as well as the Animal Protection Institute and others. The California Waterfowl Association (CWA) and Western Outdoor News have organized opposition to the bills, and hope to defeat them at the first committee hearing.

The governor's office, not state wildlife experts, will determine the DFG's positions.

"We're running them up through the chain, to the governor's office, for official positions," said Sonke Mastrup, deputy director for the wildlife and inland fisheries division of the DFG. "We've talked extensively about the bills and they left here in agreement." He did not say what that agreement was.

Bill Karr, the editor of Western Outdoor News who has taken a lead position to defeat the bills, objected to Gov. Davis determining the DFG's support or opposition to the anti-hunting proposals.

"The debate in the Department of Fish and Game should be between the scientists and biologists based on the needs of wildlife," Karr said. "By the governor getting involved, it turns this into a political decision, not a scientific decision."

One reason duck hunters are getting involved, according to the California Waterfowl Association, is because of a potential domino effect regarding future hunting laws. Duck hunters often use dogs to retrieve waterfowl. They fear if dogs are banned when hunting mammals, then in a domino effect, the anti-hunters will next move to ban the use of dogs on bird hunts. Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-Los Angeles, who is sponsoring the "Dog Bill," said the primary issue is fair chase. Through an aid, Koretz said that dog packs will chase and tree bears, allowing hunters to shoot bears out of trees. That is why the use of dogs on bear hunts is already banned in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

Because of the contentious of the debate over these bills, Bernard has posted a Q&A for dove and dove hunting on the DFG's website, www.dfg.ca.org. She said a similar Q&A would likely be posted by the end of the week on the proposal to ban dogs on mammal hunts. Bernard said the increasing polarization of California between rural and urban areas shades the debate. "It's something we see and talk about," she said.

Karr agreed with that assessment. "It's one thing after another," Karr said. "Like Prop. 117 to make mountain lions a protected species, then the ban on trapping, all the new gun laws, all these things coming out of cities that affect how things are out in the field."

E-mail Tom Stienstra at tstienstra@sfchronicle.com.
©2003 San Francisco Chronicle

If you enjoyed reading about "California: "DFG in tug-of-war between hunters, anti-hunters"" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Quartus
March 29, 2003, 10:24 AM
One reason duck hunters are getting involved, according to the California Waterfowl Association, is because of a potential domino effect regarding future hunting laws.



DUH!


Too bad most duck hunters didn't see that domino falling a while ago.


"When they came for the assault weapons, I kept silent, because I don't have an assault weapon...."

Airwolf
March 29, 2003, 10:42 AM
Yet at the same time, the growing urban populations in California "are less supportive of hunting," she said. "And that's the trend we're seeing," Bernard said, "a more urbanized population."

A nice summary statement in a nutshell of almost everything that's wrong with the system.

The impact on city dwellers from hunting is negligible in grand scheme of things but once again a group of people will seek to ban something that they know nothing about and has no practical impact on their lives because they "feel" that it's wrong. The fact that it GREATLY impacts a number of other people is irrelevant to them. Typical liberal/socialist bull:cuss:

When was the last time that you heard of rural types pushing for legislation that would prevent the urban types from doing something within their “habitat”?

I’m sorry, as much as some people and groups would like to believe, we are all not the same and never will be.

This country is setting itself up for Civil War II on many, many levels.

Standing Wolf
March 29, 2003, 10:08 PM
Leftists believe they're entitled to control any- and everything and every least aspect of everyone's life.

They're rock-solid wrong!

MeekandMild
March 29, 2003, 10:34 PM
Assembly Bill 1190, would remove dove as a gamebird and ban hunting them. Har! Thats a joke, sweet little doves, right? Wrong. doves are one of the most bloodthirsty animals on earth. If you put a third dove in with a pair of them in a cage and come back the next day the third one will be pecked to death. But they're cute.

Zorro
March 30, 2003, 12:27 AM
Not so far fetched DFG BANNED SPORTFISHING!

CHANNEL ISLANDS are now "Protected" FOREVER!

Next thing is a ban on Gopher control.

Grey Davis is a one man disaster in progress.


:fire:

If you enjoyed reading about "California: "DFG in tug-of-war between hunters, anti-hunters"" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!