Dear BHA leadership,
There is a situation brewing in the mountain state of Colorado that is incredibly important for hunters to address. It is most especially important to anyone who hunt public land, and even more important for those who hunt in wilderness areas. It’s not a new situation, hunters have a history of defeat with this plot.
The situation at hand has been coined “ballot box biology” It has become a key resource for anti-hunting and anti-hunting environmental agencies. It has also been terribly effective.
It is safe to say that most any time a significant ban or restriction on hunting has been placed on a state ballot it has passed. Here are some recent examples:
1990 California mountain lion hunting ban 1992 Colorado spring bear season ended 1994 Oregon Hound hunting/baiting ban 1996 Washington hound hunting ban 2017 BC brown bear hunting ban
There have been recent attempts to put similar ballot measures into affect in Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and New England As well as one narrow win for hunters with the 2014 ballot question in Maine
This is especially concerning when the number of signatures required to push such a question onto the ballot is so low and easy to attain.
The severity of the situation in Colorado is not as much about the specifics as it is about the tactic. This isn’t the same as when wolves were federally re-introduced in the past century. It sets a an entirely new precedent of introduction by ballot.
The Colorado wolf project and the state ballot question has been progressing for over a year without action or even a position from BHA. This is a terrible mistake because aside from the issue of wolf re-introduction the issue of ballot box biology must be addressed or we will lose the ability to hunt any game and especially predators in the near future. We must learn from the past victories of anti-hunters.
I plead as a past member of BHA that you consider taking a strong stance on state questions becoming the norm in wildlife management decisions. I also warn you that I and other hunters are not foolish, we understand the threat this issue of predator control and reintroduction has to hunting’s future and opportunity and your oversight does not go unnoticed.
As members of a group that will continue to be an active minority we as hunters trust you and other organizations as our only defense.
I will not be supporting BHA this year, I will support BHA when it supports hunters.
Michael Arnette, BHA past member and fellow public land owner
Unsolicited advise so forgive me. Take it or leave it. You might want to end with a question prompting a response back to you. Otherwise there’s no real reason for a response back to you. Then end with requesting their response.
Justin- feel free to disagree with this too...as I’m sure you will.
Your dang right I will post on wolf threads when people are throwing out BS like it’s fact or science. You don’t like it or disagree your welcome to counter with your own backed up facts.
Again, good on ya Mike for pulling the letter together. I really hope you get a response as I would like to see if BHA has a response. Likely they won’t like WV said but it doesn’t hurt to try to solicit a response with a direct request for one. For example, “ Please explain why BHA is remaining neutral in the wolf ballot initiative in CO when so much is on the line for hunters?” Them maybe follow with “I would really like to hear and understand BHAs position and look forward to your response.” That way there is no question that you want to hear from them. If they don’t reply then you have proof they were not responsive.
Without the question and request for a response I would not respond as an organization. Again my opinion...take it or leave it.
Good luck Mike.
That statement is scientifically/biologically demonstrably false. Biologically “reintroduction” is the correct term. If you want to argue against wolves in CO then you won’t be taken seriously arguing “introduction.” Fight it all you want but it’s true. It was Canis lupus that was listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Act. See link. It’s right there at the top.
You can't "reintroduce" something that is already here. So, I guess this whole wolf program is biologically incorrect from the start. Correct?
So is the statement from your link that indicates they are endangered. Does this look like an endangered species?
And that's FACT where Colorado is located
Maybe it was a different wolf because in trapper era and pioneer times there wolfs in southern Wisconsin and all over most of plains states . In those area they were not observed so often in large packs . Perhaps there is a range map of plains wolf subspecies. Because that map seems limited to actual distribution of wolf like animals.
In the link above is everything you need to know about why Canis lupus was listed as endangered. If you don’t agree take it up with the USFWS.
Grey Ghost- yes I agree. Canis lupus is already back in CO so maybe reintroduction doesn’t fit anymore. I think the fact that they are already there is the #1 best argument to sway public opinion. Much better than the super wolf myth.
Damn, now that I let the secret out and the liberals are sure to disband me. Thanks a lot. I’ll be a bowhunter with out a home or clan.
Folks, As a BHA Life Member, since 2008, I would like you to read the following thoughts on a recent ballot-box game management issue currently being undertaken in Colorado.
BHA has always championed biological and a scientific approach to game management. This parallels the tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which BHA has openly supported in Colorado Wildlife Commission meetings in the past.
The biologists, staff, and Parks and Wildlife commission have all openly opposed any reintroduction of wolves in Colorado. This position was developed after intense scientific research on the issue. BHA has always augmented the work of supporting our public lands, waters, and wildlife with our state game and state and federal land agencies. That's why it is troubling to me to see that BHA has NOT taken any official position on this issue., which is in direct conflict to these agencies stance, and prior BHA positions to augment these agencies efforts.
If you look at the folks who place these initiatives on the ballot, they claim scientific rationale for their stance, they claim to use scientific reasoning, yet the scientific research on the cause and effect has already taken place by CPW staff and biologists. They have determined it is not biologically or scientifically appropriate to have a forced reintroduction of wolves. They prefer instead to let existing wolves continue their migration into Colorado, where they can be effectively managed and monitored. Why is BHA not fully supportive of this position. We claim to be stewards of public lands, waters, and wildlife and assist these agencies in their mission?
My feelings on wolves is this: I have nothing against wolves. Wolves are a beautiful, majestic, and iconic animal, and can be a key part of a landscape. Wolves deserve the utmost of respect for their existence. They also need vast wild areas to thrive in. The appropriate thing would be to set in motion best possible scenario for wolves to thrive. It would be the responsible thing to force reintroduce wolves because Colorado has evolved into an area that no longer many these vast secluded, isolated, and wild areas for wolves to thrive. There are some, but wolves need to find these areas naturally, through their own keen senses and adaptability, which has been happening as the packs from the north have been migrating into Colorado. A forced introduction will cause wolves to potentially spread into areas that are in direct conflict with Colorado's explosively expanding population. Any threats to humans or livestock will result in dead wolves.
The prudent thing for someone wishing to introduce a species would be to ensure it has the environment to thrive, not be in danger. Wolves would be in danger if forced reintroduced, because the habitat they spread to may not have the secluded elements required for wolves to thrive. If they come in conflict wit humans or livestock, it will result in negative outcome or even dead wolves. Is this what you want for such a majestic animal?
Like many of you, I can think of know greater experience than to hear the howl of a wolf in elk camp, in a pristine wilderness area. But we have to act responsibly for all public lands, waters, and wildlife, not based it on our own selfish desires. What we want for ourselves is not necessarily what is best for the species being forcibly reintroduced. Forcing a reintroduction through emotional ballot box game management is not a responsible thing to do on our public lands when the state game management staff has publicly opposed it.
Wolves once thrived on our landscape, with huge populations of big game. It was only when man got involved that wolves vanished and big game herds were decimated, for the feeding and pleasure of humans. Now humans want to get involved again, for their own pleasure (mostly for urban and suburban voters). This is not a biological or scientific reason to undertake such a huge gamble on such an iconic species, it is a human intervention based on an emotional desire.
BHA has taken a position to STAY OUT of any issues regarding wolf reintroduction. I respect that position. It may be thought that it may not align with BHA's core principals. That is debatable but is not the the core issue here. What I am asking you all to consider is to join Pope & Young, Boone & Crockett, SCI and a host of other conservation groups in opposing ballot box game management, when they are in direct conflict with state game agencies direction, and to also use the BHA membership and it's resources to counter these irresponsible moves, when the desire for human emotions, conflicts with established science.
Good letter...Hope it gets a response from them. Best, TK
Will the enviros sue to retain listing status with Colorado in play?
It’s kinda like the major news orgs. They all magically report the emergencies Trump creates with the EXACT same wording. Across all agencies simultaneously. That’s not an accident.
That’s a great question. I’m with WV...I bet they don’t.
I very much appreciated the response, I would encourage any members to write to BHA to kindly inform them of your opinion on the issue
No matter what they replied, they very well knew it would become public fast, so I understand them not responding to you with a stand one way or another.
Hopefully they will "weigh in more formally".
Time will tell.
They didn't necessarily occupy every single state as "never-leave-town" populations. We don't have the bison heards like before, we don't need the wolves now. It's all just lolipops, unicorns, and rainbows...
"I want you to know that your email helped the decision to weigh in on this issue more formally."
What the heck does that mean? Did they make a decision? Or not?
Jeez I guess the Communists are better than Super Socialists. Ever hear of Moose hunting in Sweeden? Plenty in Finland.......Hmmmn