Positions on sportsmen's issues
Giving Sportsmen a Voice
Sportsmen and women and state Fish and Game agencies should have an abundance of input and decisions in the wildlife management process. The last many years, federal bureaucrats have taken far to much power, and make decisions from Washington DC without knowledge or concerns about local inputs.
Our Public Lands and water, are some of America’s greatest treasures, and our places the majority of Sportsmen hunt, fish and camp. These lands will always remain public and open.
Millions of acres of our Federal lands are in poor conditions. We see massive fires, invasion of non-native species, etc. Poor management of the lands creates poor forage production and causes conflicts between livestock and wildlife We must invest tremendous amounts of money to restore the health and productive of our lands, which also protect our water. We also want financial incentives to keep private lands open and productive for wildlife habitat and clean water. These are some of the appropriate uses of Federal Excise funds – paid by Sportsmen every day. These excise taxes are not federal funds; they are our funds, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Abundant Herds, Flocks and Fisheries
In the eastern portion of the USA, most of the lands are private. Herds are abundant, because private property managers can manage the lands, as they want. Access to these lands can be an issue, and with better management of Federal Excise taxes paid annually by sportsmen, and working with local fish and game agencies, and private landowners, The Trump Administration would work to increase public access to these private lands, while respecting private property rights.
In the Western US, there are hundreds of million of acres of wild public lands. These lands are the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt. They are some of the most beautiful, and pristine lands found anywhere on earth. They are one of our greatest treasures.
These land can be teaming with herds of elk, mule deer, moose, mountain goats, bison, Bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, antelope, cougar, bear, wild turkey and other species. These lands also provide great fishing. Unfortunately, poor management of some of these lands have contributed to reduced capacity for herd survival, especially in hard winters.
Excessive predator populations, wolves, and coyotes in particular have caused once abundant herds on our great public lands to be greatly diminished, robbing our public sportsmen of successful hunts. We have the lands, and access, just not abundant herds, or herds far below the biological capacity. We also know, and it is documented that non-indigenous red fox, and skunks, raccoons and other predators have tremendous impacts of populations of waterfowl and upland birds.
We believe a President Trump will instruct USFWS policy to use good science to keep predators at lower levels so they do not reduce game herds, and damage livestock and even threaten human lives. When a grizzly bear kills a person, and someone is more worried about a bear than a person, we have lost perspective.
State local fish and game agencies, and state wildlife commissions shall manage all predators. Game animals are owned and managed by individual states. It is very poor business and policy to have federal bureaucrats mismanage predator populations and destroy herds and hunting opportunities.
The one key role the USFWS should play is both the management of the federally purchased Waterfowl management areas via purchases of Duck Stamps and other funds. It seems some of the folks managing these waterfowl areas, forgot who bought them, and who pays to manage them. We know rest areas are important, but to close these areas to hunting for anti hunting purposes will not be allowed.
Additionally, as waterfowl migrate both internationally, and interstate, it is key that the Federal agencies work with internationals managers, and state wildlife agencies to keep our waterfowl habitats and waterfowl populations healthy. Sportsmen know, in some cases, bird populations are excessive, and they destroy their own nesting habitats.
Endangered Species Act
The well intended Act, to protect and recover species has been hijacked by anti hunting organizations and legal firms, who do not care about the species, but make money suing the federal government. It is a well-known fact; far to much money are spent fighting lawsuits against activists, and not enough money recovering species.
The North American Wildlife model set up by Teddy Roosevelt was not intended to by taken over by Judges in Washington DC, managing species that should be managed by local state fish and game agencies. Team Trump will support Congress, as they have removing wolves from the Endangered Species act, get judges out of the wildlife management business, and let state biologists do their job.
The endangered species act should not be used as a weapon to destroy jobs and local economies, especially when species do not thrive anyway. The spotted owl is a prime example. Thousands of jobs were destroyed by making excessive regulatory requirements on the Timber Industry. Spotted Owl populations continued to decline, even as logging was stopped. The USFWS then allocated millions for government agents to go shoot the Bared Owl, because these owls were taking over spotted owl nesting sites.
Wild Places and wild things, abundant herds, flocks and fisheries are important to the American Sportsmen and Sportswomen. It is our passion. It is what we love to do. It is our heritage and legacy to the world. Many things have changed since President Roosevelt laid the Foundation for our conservation and public lands. A Trump administration will have avid sportsmen having a voice and seat at the table in all issues regarding land, water, and wildlife. More than any time since the Great Teddy Roosevelt.
It is really important that every sportsmen and sportswomen, from every background, have great hunting and fishing. It is our passion, your passion and what we all love to do!