HOWL Colorado

New “sportsmens” group enters wolf fray, but what is their real agenda?

Mitt and Don up in a tree (stand), . . .A huge, two-page centerfold ad in today’s Bozeman Chronicle by Big Game Forever (biggameforever.org) urges readers to sign a petition to demand predator management and support for H.R. 509 and S. 249, American Big Game and Livestock Protection Act, which would exempt gray wolves from the ESA of 1973. Big Game Forever seems to be mostly the brainchild of Don Peay of Utah who founded Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, a group that grew rapidly for a while in the West. SFW generally talked about game, not fish. Its critics said it was really “Sportsmen for a couple kinds of wildlife.” This was said to mean deer, elk and maybe moose.

Peay proved himself to be an excellent entrepreneur at creating interest groups by employing the right combination of incentives to draw people to his organization. He was good at raising money and finding enemies to worry hunters. He was also good at getting preferments for his group and its supporters from several state fish and game agencies. Recently Peay has become friendly toward those who are not supporters of public wildlife or public lands. Peay recently got a lot of attention when he rejected the North American Hunting Model as Socialism. He seems to be moving toward the views of uberrich hunters and those who hunt behind tall fences, which many do not consider hunting at all.

It is hard to say what the goal of his new group is. Right now it is emphasizing anti-wolf, but that field is crowded. This might be an experiment, but he also might have struck the mother lode, one or more of the top tenth of one percent of the ultra-millionaires and billionaires with an agenda for privatization and money enough to maybe buy some laws overturning American hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions that have sustained Americans for generations.

Interestingly, Peay has become a friend of Mitt Romney, whose descriptions of his own hunting experiences have been amusing. If anyone could destroy America’s outdoor heritage it would be a President Romney, who is clearly as inexperienced in the outdoors as President Obama. Ben Long has a good article on Peay and Romney. ‘Sportsmen,’ so-called. By Ben Long. Writers on the Range. Salt Lake Tribune

Is Peay speaking for the average person or does he want to recreate the King’s Forest? In today’s world, of course, it would be the Billionaire’s Forests. Perhaps this will be another paper organization to help Romney instead? If it brings in sportsmen, the reward could be a high position in a Romney Administration. It could be both.

Ralph Maughan – wildlifenews.com

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