2006 Election: What it means to you and your Hunting
As a hunter, you might think that this 2006 congressional election has little to do with you and hunting. But in fact, there are a few issues that can affect you directly. To make a better choice next week at the polls, here's what you need to know:
CPR: The nation's current craze with bio-fuel may threaten decades of work done to preserve wildlife. The Conservation Reserve Program sets aside millions of acres that act as natural habitat for the surrounding fish and wildlife. If our government puts biofuels in the front interest above CPR a large portion of that land will be lost in the pursuit of fuel alternatives. Make sure your political candidate supports actions in the Farm Bill, which state that fish and wildlife concerns will remain part of biofuel program planning.
Public Ground: Already scarce, public hunting ground can use any support it can get. Organizations like the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have offered a program that could help public hunting land stay available. The program, Open Fields, offers federal funding to make private hunting ground open to the public. Several similar other programs have already been successful in 12 other states. Open Fields will be presented inside the Farm Bill under the conservation section. While the bill will probably pass, we should still make sure our politicians support the entire bill-including the Open Fields program.
Energy: Several new regulations, including 2005's Energy Bill, have taken away many regulations Land Development would have to abide by to protect wildlife habitat while persuing energy development. However, even more recent court decisions have helped preserve wildlife by ordering developers to return to old regulations. Even though these laws are in tact now, the current push for energy reform my have Congress writing new rules to fit their development. See if your candidates agree that energy developers should comply with fish and wildlife protections.
Hopefully these ideas have given you something new to think about before you vote next week. When you cast your ballot, simply ask yourself, will this person protect my right to continue hunting? So many hunters feel that the government and all it's key players are a foreign subject to their life. However, our continuous involvement in politics will insure a guaranteed future for our pursuit of the hunting and the great outdoors.