Important to Hunters, Important to Everyone

I hope this is a model for all Western states:

Yesterday, Idaho’s legislature, passed a bill to place a “right to hunt” constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2012. Given the efforts to undermine the North American Wildlife Model in Idaho and in many other states, the timing of this constitutional amendment couldn’t be more critical. Governor Otter is expected to sign this bill into law in the next few weeks.

Here is what is happening: House Joint Resolution 2AA and related legislation supports a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every person in Idaho to hunt, fish and trap. A special thank you to Senator Lee Heider and other members of the Idaho Legislature for sponsoring this important legislation. This constitutional amendment will amend Idaho’s constitution to make it clear that the rights to hunt, fish and trap are part of our inalienable rights.

Multi-million dollar ballot initiatives funded by out-of-state anti-hunting groups like HSUS have been growing in recent years. At a wolf management hearing in Boise a few weeks ago, many of these out-of-state anti-hunting groups showed up in force. A recent email campaign to stop harvest of wolves in Idaho’s Lolo elk management area also has been making its way around the Internet. It is clear that major efforts remain to stop recovery of key elk and moose populations in Idaho.

A constitutional “right-to-hunt” bill makes it much, much more difficult for out-of-state special interest groups to undermine state wildlife policy. Misleading multi-million dollar anti-hunting campaigns and ballot initiatives will continue. This constitutional amendment requires any ballot initiative related to the right to hunt, fish, trap or other key wildlife policies to have a 2/3rds vote.

Thanks to all of those who have worked so hard to help pass this important legislation.

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