Having submitted comments (it takes only one) to the USGFD, I am now on the FWS mailing list. I receive alerts about things, often about issues that are open for comments. The trend, as far as I can tell, is to kill everything.
That is, they are excited about giving people the opportunity to kill things, and they themselves often want to exterminate entire populations from an area. Biodiversity has got to be a dirty word, if you work for the USGFD. At least, that is my conclusion based on the emails I get. I know that there are some conscientious government biologists out there, but the driving force behind the USGFD’s motivation appears to be various hunting groups, to the detriment of the environment, the refuges, biodiversity.
I find it disturbing. And now there is a chance that guns will be allowed in National Parks. I really do not want the random twitchy strangers to be allowed to carry guns in the National Parks. Some claim that they need it for protection, and that pretty much tells me that they spend little to no time out in the wide open spaces, and that they would therefore be likely to shoot at any rustling of leaves or even a sneeze. Fantastic.
“Mom, I’m going for a hike!”
“Take your bulletproof jacket, dear!”
But 51 senators don’t agree with me (though in my recollection they seem to mistake each other for ducks or something and oops! Shoot each other.), and they are supporting a move to open up national parks to people who are armed, and therefore dangerous. Believe me, I live in Virginia, and you only have to read the most superficial details about the Virginia Tech shooting from last year to realize how ridiculously easy it is for people to get their hands on guns, and lots of them.
Park rangers across the board don’t want to see guns allowed in the national parks – they have dealt with too many instances where a gun in someone’s hand would have escalated things, potentially fatally. That is always the issue with guns, isn’t it? The Huffington Post does a pretty good job of giving an overview of the issue with some of the comments that have already been submitted.
That’s just one issue that is open to public comment right now, comments due at the end of the month. (That’s just 2 weeks.) If you have an opinion and you’d like to share it, go to the regulations site, search in the “comment or submission” for “guns national park” and then click a link to “submit a comment.” You’ll get a form you can fill out and a text area for your comment.
If you’re in the mood to write letters and get your opinion recorded as part of the official record, now’s a good time to get your fingers limbered up.
The other issues that have come up are:
- opening more NWR (that is national wildlife “refuge”, grossly misnamed as it is) land to gratuitous killing of migratory birds and big game (July 11 deadline; follow links for instructions on how to submit a comment)
- gathering up wild horses and burros from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. You can find a lot of really good information on these, and other wild horse and burrow issues on the Wild Horse Preservation site. I recommend reading it to gather yet more information on the many wild animals that are affected by the addiction to meat. The Sheldon issue specifically is addressed (info on where to send the letters) on IDA’s site but for general information on wild horses including some great points to make about why these round ups are not a good idea, you’ll do better at the Wild Horse Preservation site. (June 30 deadline)
- Kofa Mountain Lions (June 23 deadline)
You didn’t think I’d go much longer without nagging you about writing letters about the Kofa Lions, did you?
Please do write letters. I’d bribe you, if only I knew what it would take!