Environmentalists' Surprising Ally to Save National Monuments: Hunters
Many hunters, anglers and other sportsmen are speaking out against the former Montana congressman over his controversial recommendation to adjust the boundaries of a "handful" of the 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration. They worry that Zinke's move could potentially reduce land access for sport hunting and kill thousands of jobs.
"[Zinke] said he'd fight to protect public lands," John Sullivan, chairman of the Montana chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, says in a recent television ad. "But since his Washington promotion, he's put our public lands at risk."
Although Zinke promised to keep the sites under public ownership, groups on the political left and right fear that the secretary wants to allow drilling, mining and clearcutting on the sites—a move in line with the Trump administration's overall favoritism towards the fossil fuel industry.
Zinke's Public Lands Recommendations Show 'Blatant Disrespect of the American People' https://t.co/94DP1Z0ntd @greenpeaceusa @foe_us— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1503971107.0
Similarly, in a recent opinion piece for the Flathead Beacon, Chase Giacomo, an avid sportsman and Kalispell, Montana resident, said Zinke's intention to reduce national monuments in size and open them up for business would "undermine essential fish and wildlife habitats."
"Public land ownership is a salient conservation tool for the sustainability of hunting and angling. Moreover, public lands provide equal access for all outdoor recreationists. Many hunters depend on harvesting an animal in order to provide a natural and affordable way to feed their family. Public land ownership creates a cooperative for hunters and anglers to partner in efforts to conserve our nation's resources.
Public land ownership also safeguards the preservation of our environment. It protects nature from falling into private entities that so often exploit the land. The preservation of habitats and countless species is strengthened by public land protections. Furthermore, the countless preservation efforts to study climate change can be furthered by the use of public lands for scientific research."
NPR noted that President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., is a big-game hunter who wants to preserve access to wild areas. Trump Jr. also happens to be linked with several sportsmen groups that lobbied for Zinke to become interior secretary, including Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a national hunting advocacy group, wants all the current national monuments to remain intact, Outside's Wes Siler reported.
"That hunters are so fired up in opposition to GOP policy is a big deal," Siler pointed out. "Hailing from rural areas, people who are passionate about hunting tend to vote Republican. No other traditionally conservative group is currently waging such a public campaign against current GOP policy."
There's a good reason that the Zinke might actually listen to the influential group. As Siler argued, in February, former congressmen Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) plans to sell off 3.3 million acres of federal land in 10 different states was met with such fierce outcry from hunting groups that Chaffetz ended up withdrawing the bill.
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
- Your Guide to Talking With Kids of All Ages About Climate Change ... ›
- 7 of the Best Ted Talks About Climate Change - EcoWatch ›
- Katharine Hayhoe Reveals Surprising Ways to Talk About Climate ... ›
An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.
<div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="24c36ab7f041f96875677ba1e9dc1944"><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/CapeLookoutNPS/posts/3608024915884969"></div></div>
- 411 North Atlantic Right Whales Remain: This Solution Could Help ... ›
- Sixth North Atlantic Right Whale Found Dead Prompts Concern ... ›
- First North Atlantic Right Whale Calf of the Season Spotted off ... ›
By Andrea Germanos
A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."
- We Need a Green New Deal for Farmland - EcoWatch ›
- The Netherlands Can Feed the World. Here's Why It Shouldn't ... ›
- The Key to Saving Family Farms Is in the Soil - EcoWatch ›
- Urban Farming Booms During Coronavirus Lockdowns - EcoWatch ›
In yet another attack on the environment before leaving office, the Trump administration is seeking to transfer ownership of San Carlos Apache holy ground in Oak Flat, Arizona, to a copper mining company.
- Mining Giant BHP Pauses Plans to Blast 40 Aboriginal Heritage Sites ›
- Mining Company CEO Forced to Resign After Blasting of 46,000 ... ›
- Rio Tinto Blasted Away an Ancient Aboriginal Site. Here's Why That ... ›