News & Commentary
By Paul Krugman
In this op-ed in the New York Times, Paul Krugman argues that the current opposition of Republican politicians to environmental protection is not based on ideology or contributions from polluters, but rather because the environment has become part of a culture war with its roots in issues of race and ethnicity. Although Krugman focuses on climate policy, the same argument could be made about wildlife policy, as described in this excellent article in the New Yorker.
Symposium: Modernizing State Wildlife Management to Restore Wildlife Resiliency given at the 2022 North American Congress of Conservation Biologists.
This slide presentation by Kevin Bixby was given to ESC Grassroots via Zoom on July 11, 2022 and is based on his
op-ed published in Truthout by the same name.
By Don Molde
This opinion piece examines the notion of ‘sustainable yield’ versus intrinsic value of wildlife. Don Molde explains the American Wildlife Values survey and the different ways that people view and value wildlife. These values differ widely between the general public and the agencies that manage our wildlife, with agency personnel viewing wildlife “as something akin to property, managed for the sole benefit of humans.” Molde goes on to explore the outdated beliefs that many state wildlife agencies hold, and how these clash with today’s updated scientific understanding and cultural appreciation of wild lives. “Taking action to show the public that non-human lives matter, and that management decisions can be made to reflect the public’s interest, would be a wise move if public support and a broader constituency will be needed to keep the agency viable in the future.”
From the Desk of the Executive Director: What do Guns have to do with wildlife management, News: The Pittman-Robertson Act, Did You Know: find your state map, This Inspires Us, Our Coalition Partner: Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Spring giving.
Roadblocks to good wildlife management: beavers could be the answer to flooding and drought issues caused by climate change
With climate change transforming the American West, an industrious mammal could help mitigate some of the worst of the coming drought and flooding crises. The West is getting drier in the dry season and more prone to flooding in the wet season. Beavers could well be a relatively low-cost part of resiliency efforts. As natural ecosystem engineers, these largest-of-North-America’s rodents “increase water storage in ponds and surrounding floodplains, thus slowing winter flows, increasing riparian and meadow water availability and extending stream flow up to six weeks into dry summer seasons.”
Op-Ed in Truthout by Wildlife for All’s Executive Director, Kevin Bixby
It’s time to get guns out of wildlife conservation.
The firearms industry and state wildlife agencies have been joined at the hip since Congress passed the Pittman-Robertson (PR) Act in 1937. The law redirected an existing federal tax on firearms and ammunition to the states to help restore depleted game populations. The model worked as intended for years, but nonhunting gun buyers have far surpassed hunters as the main source of PR Act funds. At a time of rising gun violence, when there are more guns in the U.S. than people, does it make any sense to be using public funds to encourage more gun use?
Editorial: Why does NM give elk-hunt permits to private landowners, fire commissioners who question the status quo?
By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
This editorial looks at the current flawed system in which New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners are appointed and removed by the Governor with little to no oversight. This year, two commissioners were dismissed because their positions clashed with those of the governor. All appointed commissioners are supposed to by confirmed by the state Senate, although that has not happened in recent years. “The system is stacked so the only qualification to serve is showing fealty to the governor rather than making independent decisions about a resource you’re entrusted to manage and protect on behalf of the residents of New Mexico. That has to change.”
Wildlife for All’s Executive Director Kevin Bixby recently talked about wrestling wildlife governance reform from the tight grip of the hunting, fishing, and gun industries on Rewinding Earth’s podcast (Episode 92).
Three new Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board members with a love of hunting appointed without due process
By Emma Cotton
Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont recently appointed three new members to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board. “All three cite a love of hunting that began during childhood.” Qualified candidates submitted applications – yet never received any reply. Appointments to commissions need to be transparent and follow due process.