It's amusing to watch animal rights extremists suddenly develop such an altruistic concern for the rights of Utah's voters.

Don't believe it: They are just trying to don sheep's clothing.Their real concern is the potential loss of their ability to abuse Utah voters and the ballot initiative system to further their cause. They don't want you to fish or hunt, enjoy a rodeo or circus, eat a hot dog or Thanksgiving turkey, benefit medically from animal research or even own a pet or drink milk.

How do they abuse the ballot initiative system? They pay individuals, often not even from the targeted state, for signatures gathered on the necessary petition, and they use deceptive, emotion-based pictures and literature, much of it even falsified, to sell their cause.

Once an initiative is on the ballot, funding rolls in from the large, radical national animal rights organizations, and a campaign of deception, emotion and misinformation is run, often successfully. They have done it in states all around Utah, and they have now targeted Utah.

The wildlife amendment, Proposition 5, that will be on the ballot in November was passed overwhelmingly by the 1998 Utah Legislature (25-3 Senate, 52-19 House), and now must be ratified by the voters. The amendment is in the best overall interest of all Utahns and our wildlife and will help protect our rich wildlife heritage and the successful wildlife management system responsible for it.

Public input on wildlife issues is provided for and encouraged by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources through Regional Advisory Council meetings. Proposition 5 will not restrict that. What it will do is help ensure that if we as Utahns choose to limit the decision-making capabilities of our wildlife managers, we have a mandate and won't be making a mistake.

Professional wildlife management is based on science, research and sound biological principles and is administered by experts with extensive experience.

So whom do we want making the management decisions about Utah's wildlife: wild-eyed Eastern-based animal rights extremists who think your Thanksgiving turkey is murder and who condone the bombing of McDonald's restaurants and animal research facilities, or clear-thinking, professional university-trained scientists and biologists?

Utahns will have to decide for themselves, but I'm going to go with the professional biologists. I'm going to vote for Proposition 5 in November.