Contemplating what happens when the duck blind stays empty. Image credit: All images this post are by J.Laumer.
As it has become fashionable among young people to criticize hunting - while all of us who care about the environment, hunters included, are under attack by well-funded radicals - I thought this would be a good time to remind TH readers that from Teddy Roosevelt to the present it's been hunters who stood up first on behalf of conservation: leading to our National Parks and wildlife refuge system, for example.. Additionally, many private hunt clubs exist which protect relict plant and animal populations. When hunting culture passes, something being accelerated by all the anti-hunting rhetoric, so too will the land, the relict ecosystems, and far flung organizational support for environmental protections. Words matter to political strategy, which I address in more detail below the fold.
In Arkansas, for example, the Hempstead County Hunting Club is threatened by a proposed coal-fired utility plant expansion. Club members have for years been opposed to the coal plant, while many others from the community are actively supporting it. A chronological history of the the club's advocacy can be found here.
Station KATU published the AP story, Rich hunters, poor town clash over power plant Below is just a snippet. You really have to read the whole story. It's very well written and shows all sides with minimal stereotyping. (Except Sierra Club is not even mentioned as a player in the opposition.)
The hunters are now waging a bitter legal battle over construction of a coal-fired power plant, and the dispute has laid bare the class tensions that have long beset this rural area.
Below is a picture of me hunting back in the 70's. I recall several times over the intervening years when environmental activists came to the realization that without hunters and fishers working with them, exploitation and pollution could easily overtake and destroy what both groups had in common. Apparently, these lessons need to be relearned with each new generation.
Here's my advice....take it or leave it.
If you want to have some nice circular firing squad fun while the Koch Brothers watch in amusement, grab hands, form circle, let go, aim, and fire away. Bang Bang, we're all dead.
If not, it would be nice to act as strategically as the radical right does.
No doubt several are going to say they're permanently done with TH now because I wrote this post. That's the same kind of knee jerk thinking that has this country politically fractured, leaving our government vulnerable to manipulation by vested interests.
United we can stand, like the unions, and like the environmental movement once was. Divided, it is certain we'll get dusted by coal and other resource intensive industries that can anonymously fund election campaigns and put propaganda on TV to oppose USEPA regulations by fanning public dissent.
Smugness bothers me .There are bad hunters - thinking about those guys who shoot exotics inside a fence - and pandering environmentalists, as well. Castigating all members of a group based on a few bad examples, on anecdotes instead of representative data, is off point.