Letter to the Editor: Hound-hunting story misses larger point
The Sierra Sun article last week regarding California Governor Brown signing Senate bill 1221 banning the use of dogs in bear and bobcat hunting missed the larger point, as well as left critical statements unchallenged.The focus on the minimal economic loss to DFG ignored the larger issue regarding the role of government. The institution of wildlife management in the United States is based on the Public Trust Doctrine, the principle that wildlife resources on public lands are entrusted to the government to be maintained and managed for the benefit of the public.Scientific polls conducted by the Humane Society of the United States showed that 83 percent of Californians opposed hound hunting of bears and bob cats.To maintain legitimacy, the decision-making system of a democratic institution must take into account the concerns and interests of all citizens. Institutions of government must consider and incorporate the values of all public stake holders in order to maintain legitimacy and relevance in modern society.For the Sun’s Nevada readership, this new regulation in California starkly contrasts the actions of the Nevada Wildlife Commission, which in 2011 approved an inaugural bear hunt opposed by 85-90 percent of Nevadans in all polls.Additionally, the article allowed statements by a hunter and DFG biologist Marc Kenyon to go unchallenged. Both claimed that the bear population was growing and that hunting was a viable management tool for controlling the population.According to the “2011 California Bear Take Report” released by CA F&G, the bear population is estimated to have dropped an alarming 25 percent in the past two years.Dr. Rick Hopkins, in a letter to bill sponsor Senator Lieu, stated “To argue that hunting is needed for population management is an overly simplistic argument about natural systems … one that is in conflict both with predation theory and evidence.”Kathryn Bricker, Zephyr CoveFounder, No Bear Hunt Nevada
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