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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hunting & Fishing Licenses Decrease

Recently, The Associated Press reported that revenue from hunting and fishing license sales is tanking due to a lack of interest in the outdoors. Ironically, the Fish & Wildlife Department says the decrease in license sales will affect preservation programs for endangered species that depend on license revenue. A representative for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) points to an inability to compete for young people's time and interest in hunting and fishing as the culprit.

It seems the NWF is being very shortsighted and contradictory in their approach to decreased revenue. Why is the preservation of the lives of some animals contingent upon the deaths of others? Are we really trying to encourage young people to respect nature and all wildlife, or just teach them how to pursue and destroy? Rather than focus on hunting licenses as a thinly veiled excuse to raise money to save other wildlife, the NWF should foster programs that encourage an appreciation for all wildlife, such as bird watching, wildlife photography, camping, eco-tours and nature hikes. Think about it, if people were persuaded to carry a camera instead of a gun, and photograph rather than shoot animals, the NWF could have their revenue and the animals could get to keep their lives.

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