POINT OF VIEW Public lands, and the fauna they support, need saving


U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Stuart, is a new congressman, and I was willing to give him a chance. However, I am disappointed that he voted to authorize the use of inherently cruel tactics in the name of “wildlife control.” The U.S. House joint resolution (H.J. Res. 69), a bill backed by wealthy corporate interests, allows the use of horrifically cruel and egregious killing methods on federal public lands in Alaska. Heretofore, these animals and this land were protected. But now they are being systematically reversed by a Machiavellian Congress that clearly is not putting “Country First.” If the public were fully aware of what this action meant, they would protest vehemently.

But as the adage goes: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” And now the public is distracted by shenanigans that keep our interest out of pure provocation. And this tactic serves the purpose of a Republican House and Senate hell bent on wiping out every advance made by the last administration out of sheer spite. They don’t even have the decency to hide their agenda; their leaders stated publicly they were out to destroy the Obama administration from Day One. That has been their goal ever since.

Removing the protections animal advocates worked so hard to put in place will allow aerial scouting, indiscriminate trapping, and killing wolf pups in their dens — these are not legitimate wildlife control practices. I honestly felt the era of loops and steel-jaw leg-hold traps was over. But they have been replaced with even more evil torture devices.

Why? The targeted animals are accused of decimating the caribou population. Since when do corporations care about “rangifer tarandus”? And if the wolves and bears are indeed a threat to caribou, it’s obviously because their own hunting and breeding grounds are being systematically removed for corporate interests. Why is one species, in this case caribou, carrying more import than do the bears and wolves?

What’s more, this was a Congressional Review Act resolution, which means that if H.J. Res. 69 is approved by the Senate, the administration will be unable to ever issue a similar rule, leaving the power to prohibit these outrageous methods in the hands of Congress.

These are federal public lands. We, as taxpayers, own them. It’s not for the state of Alaska to trample over federal management imperatives just so trophy hunters can have an easier kill.

MICHELLE A. RIVERA, JUPITER



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