Whether it be in the form of disapproving with the Environmental Protection Agency, refuting the claims of global warming or arguing about the need for alternative forms of energy to oil, it seems to me as though many in the Republican party consider anyone who cares about the environment to be a tree-hugging hippy. However, many of their key constituents care deeply about the environment, and the wildlife in it.
Conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and others work to help provide natural grounds for animals to habitate and help their numbers grow and flourish. Without a strong conservation effort for game animals, many prized species that are hunted across the country may very well be extinct today. Despite their efforts, we still can see that there are man-made problems in our environment.
Too much attention is paid to the topic of Global Warming. Research is heavily conducted on both sides to either prove or disprove its existence, so much so that we overlook many of the obvious problems that are right in front of our nose. Whether or not it causes global warming, there can be no doubt that pollution has adverse effects on the environment and its inhabitants. Smog is a great example of this, as is the Gulf Oil Spill. While people debate on whether or not the Earth will get a degree hotter in the next hundred years, real life natural disasters occur all around us.
Outdoors enthusiasts, regardless of political affiliation, must lead the fight to keep the environment clean and preserve natural habitats for animals. It is our responsibility, not only to ourselves as hunters and anglers, but to our children and grandchildren, to preserve the traditions that we enjoy so much. Without wildlife, there is no hunting and fishing. It's as simple as that.
By the same accord, I would like to point out to members of animal rights groups like PETA that hunting and fishing is not as detrimental as some would claim. While I empathize with those who worry about animal cruelty, hunting in its current form is as humane a form of harvesting animals for food as we can have. Much more attention is put toward the conservation and preservation of such animals by hunters than is often given credit. Hunters and anglers prevent overpopulation of a species, which can be just as devastating as overhunting. The snow goose is a perfect example. This species would literally eat itself out of house and home if it were not for hunting efforts, to the point where the entire species, along with several other species of animals, would most likely become extinct.
Rather than taking a bold stance on one side of the issue, try to see both sides of the argument and how they affect you and the hobbies you love. Too often, hot button issues such as global warming come along and distract us from the real issues at hand, making us choose either one side or the other, rather than working together to make things better for everyone.