POINT OF VIEW Leave hunting decisions to experts, not public opinion


Do we “need” a bear hunt in Florida? Of course not. We also don’t need to catch sailfish and marlin for sport. We don’t even need to fish for food, as seafood is readily available in every restaurant and grocery store. In reality, we don’t even need to print newspapers, since we can read them online and save trees. Yet we do these things because we can and we enjoy doing them, all without threatening the natural resource.

However, every time a new hunting season is proposed anywhere in the United States, we can count on a flurry of protest from anti-hunting groups like The Humane Society of the United States. (“Point of View: Another Florida black bear hunt makes no sense,” Wednesday).

With few exceptions, hunting and fishing seasons are not based on need. They are based on the fact that a limited amount of animals or fish can be harvested without hurting the population of that species.

Groups like The Humane Society are simply opposed to hunting. Period. They could care less about whether there is an actual need or if a hunting season is biologically sound or not.

Along with claiming there is no need, groups like these use melodramatic statements like “…coupled with roadkill numbers, nuisance bears killed, and poaching, may well plunge multiple sub-populations into sharp decline.” These copy-and-paste statements are used in opposing any hunting anywhere in the United States, they simply change the name of the animal.

Finally, groups will claim that the public also agrees with them on whatever issue they are promoting. In this case, The Humane Society used a questionable group called Remington Research. Just last year, the Democrats were claiming this group was bogus and skewed its polls to favor Republicans.

However, regardless of some poll, when managing our natural resources, public opinion is a poor way of doing it. Consider some the past results of allowing public opinion to manage our resources. My favorite Florida example was draining the Everglades, because the public thought that is was just a useless mosquito-infested swamp. That certainly worked well.

Federal and state governments created departments to manage our natural resources. Instead of public opinion, these departments are staffed by biologists and people actually educated in wildlife and the environment.

So let’s leave the question of a bear hunt in Florida to people with actual knowledge and education on the subject.

JIM WEIX, PALM CITY

Editor’s note: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Wednesday that it would not hold a bear hunt for at least two years.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: In blocking abortion bill, Dems to display extremism

WASHINGTON — What would America’s abortion policy be if the number of months in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number — say, seven or eleven? This thought experiment is germane to why the abortion issue has been politically toxic, and points to a path toward a less bitter debate. The House of Representatives has for...
Opinion: When making people uncomfortable is the point

It “makes some people uncomfortable.” That was the explanation Kenny Holloway, a school board official in Biloxi, Mississippi, gave the Sun Herald newspaper last week, for the board’s decision to remove from its eighth-grade curriculum a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.&rdquo...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW ED GAMBLE
Letters Is mistreatment of seniors tip of iceberg?

Is mistreatment of seniors tip of iceberg? Thank you, Palm Beach Post, for exposing the deplorable conditions that our seniors were living in, post-Irma, under the care of their director, Michael Desalvo. (“Police appalled by stifling assisted-living facility post-Irma,” Tuesday). I find it unbelievable that DeSalvo had the nerve to call...
POINT OF VIEW: Punish me, not my community

I’m a “dreamer.” The Trump administration’s list of demands it wants in exchange for helping us makes me feel like a traitor. Among these demands are: The administration wants a wall that will perpetuate division rather than granting actual security. It wants fewer protections and faster deportation...
More Stories