By Hal Herring
Although I cannot match Bob Marshall’s deeply researched story from two weeks ago concerning House Resolution 1, the US House of Representatives proposal to cut our crushing federal deficit, I just took part in a teleconference on the budget bill that left me so unnerved that I have to address the same topic. I’m not trying to beat readers over the head with this, but we are at a crossroads for American hunters and fishermen.
The situation goes far beyond political parties. It is about representatives who may be well-meaning, but are ignorant of the very basics of conservation and how it affects our economy, our quality of life, and our access to basic resources like clean water, not to mention fish to catch and wild game to hunt. There are times when those who know what is at stake must inform the decision makers. In this case, it is sportsmen who know the facts on the ground, and now is such a time.
Let’s look, again, at what is at stake. And please remember, the part of the federal budget that is devoted to conservation and land and water protection makes up about .5% of the entire budget. You could kill our entire legacy of conservation, ensure the loss of most of our wildlife and fisheries, allow the poisoning of our air and waters, and do nothing whatsoever to actually address the national debt. (And, although it is beyond my scope here, please apprise yourself, as a taxpayer, or just a citizen, of all that has NOT been targeted for cutting. According to these elected representatives, what we can do without as a nation, first, are mostly the things that we hunters and fishermen understand to have great value. WE are the low-hanging fruit.)