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Letters & Emails

Over and Out

After reading James Card’s recent article, “Hunt, Fish … and Save the Planet” (Autumn 2012), I’ve decided it’s time to cancel my membership.

Hunters are not environmentalists. Hunting and the loss of habitat are two main reasons for species extinction.

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The article gives one point of view – the hunter’s. Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, and bird watching are on the increase while hunting is on the decline. This sugarcoated article on how noble it is to shoot and kill animals perpetuates the myth that hunters actually care about the animals they kill and the land on which they live. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will not remain a member of yet another environmental organization that has allowed the powerful hunting lobby a voice for its self-serving purposes.

Maureen A. Schiener, Amherst, New York

Eco-Hunters a Rare Bird

James Card’s article, “Hunt, Fish … and Save the Planet,” identified a rare species for me – an “ecology-minded hunter.”

After subduing my laughter, I continued reading about the characteristics of this species to see if I knew any, since I’ve been attending Fish and Game Commission meetings in my state for 40 years.

Alas, Nevada, where sportsmen have ironclad control of wildlife management, is short of this rarity. In the past 10 years – driven by sportsmen’s demands – the Nevada Department of Wildlife has spent about $4 million contracting with Wildlife Services to kill mountain lions, coyotes, and ravens to promote mule deer and sage grouse. The results: Mule deer numbers have been flat for a decade; sage grouse may get endangered species listing soon. Our trappers are no better. One prominent Nevada trapper insists that the bobcats and coyotes he kills each year would be “wasted” if it were not for his efforts.

As for shooting sandhill cranes – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It doesn’t sound very
ecologically minded to me.

Donald A. Molde, Reno, Nevada

Can’t We All Get Along?

I’ve never hunted. I’ve long been an environmentalist. And I’m plenty tenderhearted toward the thought of animal suffering. However, all animals die (including us), and being hit by a hunter’s bullet or arrow is probably among the less cruel deaths that occur naturally in the wild. To react with horror and denial at the idea of humans preying upon animals is nothing short of immature. We are natural hunters, taking our place in the natural circle of life and death.

As an environmentalist, I embrace hunters as natural allies. I wish more of us would do the same, rather then alienating them with strident sanctimony and contempt.

Eric S., Boston, Massachusetts


We badly “mis-underestimated” the oil industry’s return-on-investment of its federal lobbying expenditures in our Autumn edition’s special report on money in politics. We misstated Big Oil’s federal subsidies during the time frame covered – it should be $30, not $10, billion. Then we miffed the arithmetic by failing to move a decimal point over two places. The oil industry’s ROI on its federal lobbying from 2009, 2010, and 2011 was not 54.5%, as we reported. It’s actually 16,566%. You can find a corrected formula here.

The profile of Brower Youth Award winner Maya Salsedo in our Autumn edition mentions that her family moved to Hawaii from Puerto Rico when she was younger. Salsedo’s ancestors actually moved to Hawaii over a century ago. We regret the error.


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