I have been following Senate Joint Resolution 10 and disagree with some of the negative comments and assumptions being made about the bill and its sponsors by foes and some in the media.
SJR10 is a good bill and in the overall best interest of all wildlife and all true lovers of wildlife in Utah. It is not simply a bill about hunting and fishing. The legislative legal review of the bill raised no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns, as claimed by opponents. If the bill passes the House, voters will still have an opportunity to vote it down if they wish, with a simple majority.As has been pointed out by others, the system of professional wildlife management that was started and nurtured nearly 100 years ago by men like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold, and that is now practiced in Utah and the rest of the United States is the most significant conservation success story of this century. Many elk, deer, pronghorn, moose, bison, bighorn sheep, wild turkey, numerous waterfowl species and countless others, that were near extinction were saved and are now numerous and readily viewed and enjoyed by Utahns. Most are more plentiful than even 20 or 30 years ago.
Professional wildlife management is based on science, research and sound biological principles and is administered by experts with extensive experience and university training and who have considerable university assistance. Many wildlife projects and studies take years to complete, and wildlife managers need every tool available to them, including hunting, fishing and trapping.
Most Utahns, even those who don't hunt, agree that the system works and that projects and studies shouldn't be interrupted or tampered with by Eastern-based animal-rights radicals with little or no wildlife training through whimsical and emotion-based ballot initiatives.
Virtually all wildlife experts agree that the major threat to wildlife today is loss of habitat. Utah alone loses thousands and thousands of acres each year. If anti-hunting groups really love wildlife more than they simply dislike hunting, I would suggest that they concentrate their efforts and funds on this true problem, rather than continually trying to thwart the efforts of those who do.