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Know the West

It’s the habitat, stupid


Habitat, habitat, habitat; repeat over and over, and if the hunting and fishing gods are with us, it will become the mantra of every hunting and angling group in America. Every group, from Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife to the Vegetarians for Huntable Wildlife (OK, I made that one up), knows in its heart of hearts that habitat is the bottom line for fish and wildlife. While we may not agree about what to do with the habitat once we have it secured, we are all too aware of what will happen without it. Without wildlife habitat all of us will be forced to give up the pleasures of hunting elk on open public land, or fishing a wild stream for wild cutthroat, or simply experiencing nature at its best.

With that in mind I would ask all hunting and angling groups to consider putting aside their differences, getting off their soapboxes and working together to protect and enhance our wildlife habitat on our public lands. Whether they hunt and fish on the national forests or on the lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, they need to support our public lands and especially the National Forest Roadless Rule and the current legislation designed to protect the special lands managed by the BLM under the National Landscape Conservation System. The window of opportunity still exists to help protect these special habitats but that window is rapidly closing, and we may never have another chance to open it.

Rod Mondt
Tucson, Arizona