Are California Officials Going After Hunting and Fishing?

ARE CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS GOING AFTER HUNTING AND FISHING?

 CA fish   Could sportsmen and anglers join farmers on California’s hit list? According to new wildlife management plans discussed by state officials, future guidelines may call for a sharp decrease in the allowable harvests for hunting and fishing. Every 10 years, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issues updates for its State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), which is required of them by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to receive proper funding. The plan was last updated in 2005, meaning the deadline for a new plan is quickly approaching this year. In previous statements made on the issue, officials claimed that only illegal fishing/harvesting and illegal hunting/collecting would be targeted due to their adverse effects on habitats. Unfortunately, in their latest updates they seem to have included legal forms of those activities, as well. According to Wide Open Spaces, they haven’t even given a reason for this abrupt change in strategy. The CDFW has identified several regions of California where they will focus on, especially in the central and western areas of the state. The CDFW also has made a point to address the notion that they’ve used diligence in their approach, stating that this SWAP update is a “scientifically grounded plan” and provides “actions necessary to address highest priorities for conserving California’s aquatic, marine, and terrestrial resources.” This doesn’t ease our concern about the plan, and the same could be said for many hunters and anglers in the state. CDFW’s website lays out essential objectives for each update, one of the primary goals being to “create a vision for fish and wildlife conservation in California.” But whose vision is it? As we’ve seen in the past, California is one of the more malleable states when it comes to the animal rights agenda. This change in approach has the familiar feel of an HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) takeover. Could they have had a say in the matter? The radical group has exerted influence on past state issues. They certainly played a large role in the state’s lead ammunition ban (which came about through some rather dubious means), in which it was falsely claimed that lead bullets were hazardous to the California condor despite evidence that disproved that. They’ve continually made it known that they will pursue other lead bans for hunting and fishing purposes nationwide. And how could we possibly forget their agenda against the agriculture community? In seeking unnecessary “enriched cage” requirements for egg-laying hens, they’ve harmed both producers and consumers by causing sharp increases in prices. Now, the goal of this post is not to point a finger of blame at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. As far as we know, they have not participated in anything that would directly call into question their motives as they seek to make changes to California’s wildlife management practices. However, the fact remains that animal rights groups have influenced state proceedings in the past and will continue to do so under the idea that changes made in California can spread to other states. As a result, we have to seriously consider that this update could at least have a small amount of radical influence behind it. The plan is now available for public review, and you are encouraged to provide comments on it up until July 2nd. For more information on the topic, please visit Wide Open Spaces.  

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