August 27, 2016

Conservation is Conservative

Hunters & Anglers: A Conservative Breed



Hal Herring has a new piece up at Field & Stream’s website. Recent surveys of sportsmen show that demographic group self-identifies, strongly, as conservative. The question begged by the article is, if that is the case, why hasn’t the conservative party (GOP) in recent years supported conservation issues and policies important to hunters and anglers.

“Hunting and fishing appeals to the most basic conservative value: a sense of self-sufficiency. Want a fast-food burger made of feedlot beef from some country unspecified? No thanks, I’ve got elk backstraps tonight, shot it in the White River National Forest with my .308, took me almost three days to get it all down.”

“When we fail to take responsibility for our health, lands, wildlife and waters, we lose. We’re exceptional, yes, because we work at it, not because we’re magically endowed with it.”

“The $5,000 question, though, is why, if we are, in the majority, conservative, so-called conservative political leaders vote so relentlessly against our interests. There’s a strong basic answer, and it is that those who advocate selling off public lands, or privatizing wildlife, or repealing the laws that have given us clean water and healthy air, are not conservatives. They may be ideologues, or they may yearn for the world to be different than it is (a magical place that will not be harmed by pollution or where there is always plenty of wildlife, as in the old fairytale where the wise man gives the foolish lout a sack of gold that is never empty), or they may be in the service of some larger agenda, but they are not conservatives. It does not matter anyway, what they are. The fault lies with us. We listen to the talk of selling public lands and repealing environmental laws and say nothing, or vote for them anyway. Who can blame them for what they do after they are elected? We give them our permission with a vote.”

Link to article at Field & Stream

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