A leading anti-hunting organization is pushing a new grassroots effort to “Fight Global Warming and Save Wildlife. In the process, it is showcasing a new weapon in the movement’s assault on sportsmen’s rights: the manipulation of public concerns over global warming into a way to go after the wholly unrelated issue of hunting.
In an online solicitation, Defenders of Wildlife (DoW) is urging its supporters to, “urge President-Elect Obama and the Congress to pass legislation to address global warming and help polar bears, wolverines, bighorn sheep and other animals survive and thrive in a changing climate.”
As followers of the USSA know, global warming is rapidly becoming a weapon in the anti’s arsenal of attacks on hunting, fishing, and trapping. This is especially pronounced given the decision in 2008 to list polar bears as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the loss of arctic sea ice.
The decision was made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) after a lawsuit was filed by a coalition of environmental groups that wanted to use the ESA as a way to force action on global warming. That decision, which was opposed by the USSA, did nothing to protect against the loss of the sea ice but has resulted in a loss of millions in conservation dollars due to the prohibition placed on hunting as a result of the designation.
Additionally, as the USSA argued at the time, the enormous costs of overhauling and fundamentally changing the FWS mission will leave little if any money for actual endangered species or other traditional fish and wildlife programs.
Given the rhetoric coming from groups like DoW, it would not be surprising to see similar tactics employed in the future. The USSA continues to remain vigilant on this issue.