“Too many bureaucrats think that public lands have to be protected from hunters. I think hunters need to be protected from the bureaucrats…”
U.S. vice -presidential candidate Paul Ryan pulled no punches in a recent interview with Safari Club International (SCI), lamblasting gun-grabbers, anti-hunters, and inept federal bureaucrats with equal disdain.
A few of his more salient comments included:
- First of all – and Mitt strongly agrees with me on this – public lands should offer public access for hunting. Why even have public lands if the public who paid for them can’t use them? And hunters pay even more, of course, through licenses and permits. … Too many bureaucrats think that public lands have to be protected from hunters. I think hunters need to be protected from the bureaucrats, myself. Hunting access should be equitable for all demographics, not just the hunters with the time and resources to pack into the backcountry on horses with a string of pack mules.
- In addition to access, hunters need healthy, sustainable populations of game. And you only have them when habitat is properly managed. Active management of timber leads to healthy forests. Ask any grouse! Healthy forests lead to healthy populations that are sustainable with managed harvest. All these starry-eyed activists who want to lock people out of public lands may have the best of intentions, but they have little understanding of our role in the environment.
- Right now, our agencies spend way too much time, effort and resources in court, fighting off repetitive nuisance lawsuits that keep coming from the same groups. They’re devoting massive resources to negotiating settlements with activist groups, but meanwhile the Fish and Wildlife Service can’t even agree to adopt the accepted international definition of a “hunting trophy”? This is all backwards. These agencies need to focus their time and effort on serving their paying customers, not the activist groups that want to put them completely out of business.
- I will grant you this, it can’t all be done at the administrative level. To truly shift priorities, we’re going to need some support from Congress in making common-sense reforms to the laws that hamstring our government from properly performing its functions today.