October/November 2004 Now in our thirteenth
National Anti-Hunting Groups Reveal Role in
Lost in the announcement by opponents of dove hunting
that they would seek a ballot issue to ban the new hunting season,
was the depth of involvement of the most powerful anti-hunting
organizations in America.
During this past year's dove hunting debate in the legislature,
opponents sought to portray themselves as disagreeing only with
the hunting of mourning doves, highlighting organizations such
as the Michigan Audubon Society. This illusion was cast aside
with the announcement of the coalition to ban the dove hunt.
Front and center were the nation's staunchest opponents of hunting
itself, the Fund for Animals of New York and the Washington,
D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). While
the Fund openly represents itself as an anti-hunting organization,
HSUS benefits from confusion with local dog and cat shelters.
A closer examination reveals the truth. The HSUS website, www.hsus.org,
reads, "The HSUS strongly opposes the recreational hunting
and killing of wild animals, as the sport is fundamentally at
odds with the values of a humane, just, and caring society."
HSUS is the single largest funding source to campaigns attempting
to ban hunting across the country.
Michigan sportsmen are prepared to meet the challenge. In 1996,
the aforementioned anti-hunting organizations and others pushed
an initiative to ban black bear hunting methods in Michigan.
The initiative was defeated in every county of the state by a
coalition of hunting and fishing groups including the U.S. Sportsmen's
Alliance. The groups united to raise a record $2 million to fund
the "vote no" efforts.
Sportsmen are ready to do it again. They united in 1996 because
they understood that the issue was really about all hunting.
Nothing has changed in 2004.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance protects the rights of hunters,
anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot,
in Congress and through public education programs. For more information
about the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and its work, call (614)
888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.
President Bush Meets With Conservation Leaders
Representatives from the nation's leading conservation groups
were on hand this week as President Bush revealed plans for new
initiatives developed to help protect wildlife, water and land
Wisconsin resident Craig Johnson, treasurer of the U.S. Sportsmen's
Alliance (USSA), joined USSA President Bud Pidgeon and other
conservationists and farmers at the August 4 event in Le Sueur,
The new conservation efforts will further support the Conservation
Reserve Program (CRP), which works with farmers and sportsmen
to conserve environmentally sensitive land and provide wildlife
The President has directed Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman
to offer early re-enrollment and contract extensions to secure
land conservation benefits. He also announced the general sign-up
of an additional 800,000 acres under CRP.
Other measures call for the enrollment of 250,000 additional
acres of grass buffers on farms and the expansion of CRP to cover
wetlands outside of the 100-year flood plain. This includes prairie
potholes and playa lakes.
"The Conservation Reserve Program has increased enrollment
by 2.6 million acres since the President signed the 2002 Farm
Bill," said Johnson. "A total of 34.8 million
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