FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 31, 2012
Gary Macfarlane (208) 882-9755
Bill Howell (208) 304-0867
Tim Hatten (208) 310-6397
Adrienne Cronebaugh (208) 667-9093
Groups Oppose HJR2—Deem proposed amendment as frivolous and threat to professional wildlife management
Moscow, ID – Five conservations groups voiced their opposition today to the proposed Idaho constitutional amendment HJR2, which would ensure that the rights to hunt, fish and trap, including the use of traditional methods, would forever be preserved. Along with feeling that there is no current threat to hunting, fishing, and trapping activities, the groups are greatly concerned with how the bill could interfere with future professional wildlife management.
“It’s frivolous and unnecessary,” said Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director for Friends of the Clearwater. “If this amendment were to pass, it could greatly hamper the ability of professional wildlife managers to do their job, which is to enforce regulations and manage fish and wildlife populations according to science.”
The potential implications could go beyond how it impacts wildlife management, as well.
“If this amendment were to pass, it could handicap the Idaho Fish & Game Department and instead put wildlife management decisions into the hands of the courts,” said Bill Howell of the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance. “It would also deprive future generations of Idahoans to decide wildlife issues by majority vote.”
The groups also voiced their concern over the integrity of the state Constitution. What is usually reserved for fundamental human rights, this Constitutional amendment would simply appease special interest groups.
“Hunting, fishing, and trapping activities are not threatened,” said Ashley Lipscomb with the Palouse-Great Old Broads for Wilderness. “What is in jeopardy, however, is the integrity of Idaho’s constitution—which should be reserved for important matters like freedom of speech and religious freedoms.”
The groups hope that people have had the time to educate themselves on the issue before heading to the polls.
“We urge every individual that values wildlife, the state constitution, and their right to participate in future fish & wildlife management issues to vote NO on HJR2,” said Tim Hatten with the Palouse-group Sierra Club. “This could make the state more vulnerable to lawsuits, and tax-payers will be footing the bill.”
“If HJR2 is defeated, nothing will change on November 7,” said Adrienne Cronebaugh, Executive Director of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. “Sportsmen and women will still be able to hunt, fish, and trap just like they always have.”