Printed letters, Jan. 12, 2011
Like many of us, I spent my childhood hunting and fishing in the backcountry of the Western Slope. It was a family tradition handed down to me and one that I would like to pass on to future generations.
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s decision to reinstate the ability of the BLM to identify and manage lands with wilderness values will help make that happen.
Salazar’s secretarial order restores balance between development and the protection of wildlife and habitat. While we continue to work toward rebuilding a robust economy in Colorado, we must be cognizant of the revenue generated by sportsmen, which supports our local economies.
Hunting and angling are the life-blood of many small businesses along the Western Slope, and the second-largest tourism sector in our state. In effect, if we protect wildlife habitat on our public lands, wildlife recreation can remain a renewable resource well, from which our small communities may infinitely draw.
Salazar’s decision to protect wild lands is a step in the right direction, ensuring that Colorado will continue to be the sportsman’s paradise it is today.
GASPAR PERRICONE, Co-director
Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance
Ask Congress to end Education Department
Recently, I wrote to our two U.S. senators and the representative for our district and asked them to support phasing out the U.S. Department of Education over the next five years.
Don’t assume that I am against the best education for our young people, since the opposite is true. What I am against is intrusion into areas best managed by local and state authorities. School boards, monitored by a state agency, can best handle what is basically a local problem.
Billions of federal dollars have been spent since the Education Department was created, with little improvement to our educational system. It’s time to acknowledge the idea is a failure and should be abandoned.
Anyone agreeing with this proposition should contact our representatives in Congress. Making this happen will require a long hard fight, since once a federal agency is created, eliminating it is very difficult. Reducing the size of the federal government should have the support of all U.S. citizens.
‘Fair chase’ doesn’t mean shooting animals in dens
The phrase “fair chase” has a very specific meaning in the hunting world. The Boone and Crockett Club defines it as “the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging, wild, native North American big-game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.”
In November, a Colorado hunter tracked a black bear to its den, where it was preparing to hibernate for the winter, then shot it in the den. Such an act, although not currently illegal, is an unfortunate example of excessively poor judgment and a lack of fair-chase ethics. Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers fully supports the Wildlife Commission’s plans to draft a rule banning the hunting of bears in dens.
The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and his hunting buddies. Later (when Roosevelt was president), after an unproductive outing for black bear in Mississippi, one of the guides ran down a bear with dogs, then dragged the creature into camp for Roosevelt to shoot. He declined in disgust, explaining the principles of fair chase.
Roosevelt understood that an ethical hunter is a person who knows and respects the animals hunted, follows the law and behaves in a way that will satisfy what society expects of hunters. That was clearly not the case in this unfortunate bear-killing incident. As Scott Limmer, a regional director for the Colorado Outfitters Association said, “We don’t go out and hunt bears in dens. It’s just not done.”
DAVID LIEN, Co-chairman
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers