Monday, April 16, 2012

Politicking again

As usual, hunting advocates are inadvertently politicizing science by suggesting that science be used to manage wildlife, rather than society's values. In this case, the political effort is aimed at preventing the use of hounds for hunting bobcats and bears in California. The Sportsmen's Daily writes:

The real story of this bill sets a terrible precedent. It demonstrates why wildlife management should not be political. Natural resources, including wildlife, are too important to be pawns in the dirty pool that has become common place in politics today.

They're really missing the point - the issue of using hounds is controversial, and therefore political. Saying that hunting should be managed using science is irrelevant, and ends up devaluing the science. If society's elected representatives decide hounds shouldn't be used, they won't be used, and there's no science that can argue against that.

It's pretty ridiculous that what a state official, not even an elected official, does on their holidays is used as a reason to force them out of office in the first place. If a 19 year old in a state where the drinking age is 21 goes to Alberta, where the drinking age is 18, and has a beer, is that controversial? Same legal situation.

Hunters should be reaching out to people with air quality concerns, who are now going to have to wait to get their needs addressed. Its politics, all the way to the bank. Leave the science out of it.

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