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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obama Budget Supports Hunter and Angler Education

I found this piece of good news thanks to Bart Semcer at Diana's Rest.

The President's FY2010 budget is seeking an additional $28 million for the Department of the Interior to support hunter and angler education programs. The budget summary states:

Hunting and fishing have helped forge conservation values for years. This has led to a strong environmental ethic today. A number of changes, however, threaten our Nation’s hunting and fishing legacy. With Americans’ move to urban areas, loss of small family farms, and more indoor recreational pursuits, many of the Nation’s youth have lost touch with traditional outdoor recreational activities. There is a widening gap in knowledge about natural resources including the role of hunting and fishing in resource management and the importance of these activities in sustaining natural populations and keeping them in check. This knowledge gap poses a serious threat to the future of natural resource conservation.
This good news is on top of the recent nomination of Sam Hamilton as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director. Hamilton's nomination is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

These two actions on the part of the President Obama do not make up for his previous appointments of anti-rights folks like Hillary Clinton and Gil Kerlikowske (to name just two), who have a long history of wanting to ban firearms that are commonly used by sportsmen, nor his appointment of Cass Sunstein as the nation's regulatory czar, a "tireless advocate of extensive animal rights who advocates for the legal representation of animals, and the banning of hunting." Sunstein wrote in 2002:

We might ban hunting altogether, at least if its sole purpose is human recreation. (Should animals be hunted and killed simply because people enjoy hunting and killing them? The issue might be different if hunting and killing could be justified as having important functions, such as control of populations or protection of human beings against animal violence.)

Sunstein allows that hunting "might" be different if it could be justified as having "important functions" but read on in the paper later where he writes about "Eliminating Current Practices, Including Meat-Eating" and you quickly learn that hunting for food would likely not be allowed in Sunstein's perfect universe.

So, while we should applaud the President's reverence for hunting and fishing in his budget, he many appointments of people who oppose those things that sportsmen hold dear tells us more about his true goals than a few bones thrown to us every now and then.

As Leadership Institute founder and president, Morton Blackwell, says "People equal policy" and the people that President Obama has installed into places of power tells us a lot about his policy directions.

Hat tip to Bart Semcer.

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