Quantcast

Environmentalists' Surprising Ally to Save National Monuments: Hunters

Popular
www.youtube.com

Environmentalists who oppose Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's plans to shrink our national monuments might have an unlikely but politically powerful ally on their side—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.

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."

Giacomo continued:

"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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less
Semi trucks travel along I94 on June 21 near Lake forest, Illinois. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

A time-restricted eating plan provides a new way to fight obesity and metabolic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Satchin Panda and Pam Taub

People with obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are often advised to eat less and move more, but our new research suggests there is now another simple tool to fight off these diseases: restricting your eating time to a daily 10-hour window.

Read More Show Less
Kunhui Chih / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Plastic debris washed up on remote islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has killed hermit crabs, which mistake the plastic for shells, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
A man and his dog walk past an H&M store in Stockholm, Sweden on March 11, 2014. Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

H&M's flagship store at the Sergels Torg square in Stockholm is back in business after a months-long refurbishment. But it's not exactly business as usual here.

Read More Show Less