Archive for December 17th, 2007

“To secure these rights…”

December 17, 2007

Often, there are those that think that they are wiser than the Founders of this nation. They tend to be well educated, and think of themselves as the elite of society. They believe in freedom of expression. Just so long as it is in line with their thinking. Mark Alexander writes yet another fine piece about this in the Patriot Post. Well done Mark. It is reprinted here in the hope that it, and Mark, get even more exposure.

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” —Alexander Hamilton

PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE

“To secure these rights…”

By Mark Alexander

Saturday, 15 December, is the 216th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, as ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke’s 1689 thesis, Two Treatises of Government, regarding the protection of “property” (in the Latin context, proprius, or one’s own “life, liberty and estate”); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state’s Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson.

James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights as amendments to our Constitution in 1789, but many of our Founders objected to listing the Bill of Rights at all, much less as “amendments.” Their rationale was that such rights might then be construed as malleable rather than unalienable, as amendable rather than “endowed by our Creator” as noted in the Constitution’s supreme guidance, the Declaration of Independence.

Alexander Hamilton argued this point in The Federalist Papers, the most comprehensive explication of our Constitution: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous… For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” (Federalist No. 84)

George Mason was one of 55 who authored the U.S. Constitution, but one of 16 who refused to sign it because it did not adequately address limitations on what the central government had “no power to do.” He worked with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams against the Constitution’s ratification for that reason.

As a result of Mason’s insistence, ten limitations were put on the Federal Government by the first session of Congress, for the reasons outlined by the Bill of Rights Preamble: “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution…”

Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights (as noted by Thomas Jefferson: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time…”), and a clear delineation on constraints upon the central government.

However, as Jefferson warned repeatedly, the greatest threat to such limitations on the central government was an unbridled judiciary: “Over the Judiciary department, the Constitution [has] deprived [the people] of their control… The original error [was in] establishing a judiciary independent of the nation, and which, from the citadel of the law, can turn its guns on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their proceedings to its own will… It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power [the judiciary] is independent of the nation… The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”

In Federalist No. 81 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.”

That admonition notwithstanding, the federal judiciary has become “a despotic branch.”

Indeed, since the middle of the last century, judicial despots have grossly devitalized the Bill of Rights, asserting errantly that our Founders created a “Living Constitution” amendable by judicial diktat.

For example, the Leftjudiciary has “interpreted” the First Amendment as placing all manner of constraint upon the exercise of religion by way of the so-called “establishment clause” and based on the phony “Wall of Separation” argument. At the same time, the courts have asserted that all manner of expression constitutes “speech.”

The judiciary and legislatures have undermined the strength of the Second Amendment, a right of which James Madison’s appointee, Justice Joseph Story, referred to as “…the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers…”

Equally derelict is the manner in which the Tenth Amendment has been eroded by judicial interpretation.

In Federalist No. 45, Madison outlines the clear limits on central government power established in the Constitution: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Alexander Hamilton added in Federalist No. 81 “…the plan of the [Constitutional] convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States.”

There was a very bloody War Between the States fought over offense to the Constitution’s assurance of States’ Rights.

All is not lost, however.

Sunday, 16 December, is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (1773). The “radicals” from Marlborough, Massachusetts, who threw 342 chests of tea from a British East India Company ship into the Boston Harbor in protest of tyrannical rule, did so noting, “Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their… liberties.”

Three years later, this rebellion had grown to such extent that our Founders were willing to give up their fortunes and lives, attaching their signatures to a document that declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Judicial and political despots, take note

The truth be damned! MSM agenda fails in the light of truth and logic!

December 17, 2007

Some peoples children just cannot understand normal thinking!

Outrage Of The Week! An Inane Statement

 
Friday, December 14, 2007
 
This week’s outrage comes courtesy of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show co-host Mika Brzezinski, who apparently has a very hard time laying aside her anti-gun sentiments, even when confronted with the truth.   

We all know that firearms are used as many as two and a half million times a year for self-defense.  And, as we recently saw graphically demonstrated in the senseless shootings at the New Life Church in Colorado, a law-abiding, armed citizen can make a difference.   

In the tragic New Life Church incident, Jeanne Assam, who, according to media reports, had a permit to carry a concealed firearm and was volunteering as a “security person” at her church, shot a heavily armed, homicidal madman as he began attacking innocent parishioners.  New Life’s Senior Pastor Brady Boyd hailed Jeanne as “a real hero,” because the gunman she shot “had enough ammunition on him to cause a lot of damage.”  There is no question that this brave citizen’s decisive action with her personal firearm saved many lives. 

But, facts be damned.  Brzezinski, who wasn’t in the church, but who appears daily as a co-host on the MSNBC morning program doesn’t agree.  

When discussing the murderous rampage, Brzezinski responded to host Joe Scarborough’s assertion that “One person with a gun can make a big difference,” by blurting, “Oh gosh, no!  No, no, no.  No, no, no, no, no.”  Scarborough then reiterated his assertion, “One person with a gun in the right place can make a big difference.”  At this point, Brzezinski had clearly had enough of the truth and, putting an exclamation point on her unabashed anti-gun sentiments, said, “You know, that is the most inane statement I have ever heard.”   

Ms. Brzezinski obviously can’t be bothered with undeniable evidence, nor restrained by a code of unbiased reporting.  She can’t look at a crystal-clear example of evil being countered by an armed, law-abiding citizen and have the integrity and intellectual honesty to draw the correct conclusion.  That’s outrageous. 

To see a video clip of the exchange, please click here:  http://www.nraila.org//news/read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=10366.   

To respond to Ms. Brzezinski, please visit the MSNBC “Morning Joe” web page at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/, and send a message via the e-mail tool at the bottom of the page.   

If you see something that you feel would be a good candidate for the “Outrage of the Week!” section, please send it to:  freedomsvoice@nrahq.org.  Please be sure to send additional background and citations where available.

Liberty, and RKBA End of the year report

December 17, 2007

This has been a rough year for those that actually believe in the Constitution. From the ability of the people to speak out, in groups, about candidates to things that are all across the board our rights are under constant assault by the authoritarians that would return us to a state resembling the servitude of the colonist’s to King George. One organization, is always there to speak up for your rights. Yes, firearms are their primary area of concern, but they are always there, in every fight on the side of freedom and liberty. When it comes to those issues, there can be no compromise!

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm

——————————————————————
“Gun Owners of America has remained a steadfast ally. Their
unwavering defense of our rights as Americans is commendable.” —
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), November 2007
——————————————————————

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When people look back on 2007, they may remember the several, notable
shootings that took place: the massacre at Virginia Tech in April,
the slayings at the Nebraska and Utah malls, and the most recent
killings in Colorado — a shooting that could have eclipsed all of
the previous ones if one courageous lady, Jeanne Assam, had not been
armed with a gun.

Gun Owners of America has been there each step of the way, sometimes
serving as the only national gun group which has regularly appeared
on national television, arguing for the right to keep and bear arms.

Just this week, GOA’s Larry Pratt appeared on Fox News to debate the
Brady Campaign in the aftermath of the Colorado-church shooting.
Pratt hailed Assam as a hero and called for the elimination of gun
free zones which leave victims defenseless.

While GOA considers it very important to inform the general public on
the practical value of the Second Amendment, there’s much more that
we have done to defend our freedoms in the legislative and judicial
halls around the country. The following is just a glimpse of what
GOA has been able to accomplish this year with YOUR HELP. So let’s
take a look at our work together, month by month.

January

* As the year dawns, Gun Owners of America is headed for the U.S.
Supreme Court! GOA begins preparing its amicus brief in the FEC v.
Wisconsin RTL case — a case that became important to gun owners
shortly after last year’s elections when the Brady Campaign asked the
Federal Election Commission to shut down GOA’s ability to post its
candidate ratings on the Internet.

In this amicus brief, Gun Owners of America led a coalition of
organizations to argue before the Supreme Court, realizing that a
victory at the nation’s highest court would take the wind out of
Brady’s sails and protect the right of GOA members and the public to
read our candidate ratings on the Internet. (See “June Part 2” for
the final resolution of this case.)

* In Congress, GOA wins an early battle against legislation
introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) that would have required GOA to
monitor and report on its communications with its members and friends
(like you). GOA helps produce an outpouring of calls against this
anti-speech language (S. 1), and the pernicious text is subsequently
dropped from the bill.

February — March

* GOA spends a lot of time in the state legislatures during the early
part of the year lobbying for bills that would protect the right of
self-defense (a.k.a., the Castle Doctrine) and would allow
law-abiding gun owners to carry firearms without getting permission
from the government (known as Vermont-style carry).

* GOA also begins lobbying for bills that would outlaw gun
confiscations during declared emergencies. Gun Owners helps citizens
of Arizona and Montana to become the most recent states to outlaw the
type of gun thefts that occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane
Katrina. More than a dozen states have now enacted such laws.

* In the nation’s capital, GOA begins its campaign against the
Veterans Disarmament Act and activates its members all over the
country to oppose the legislation introduced by the Queen of Gun
Control, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D) of New York. (More on this
below.)

April — May

* As the nation watches the horrifying images coming from Virginia
Tech on April 16, gun control advocates heighten their calls for
greater restrictions. GOA spokesmen spend countless hours on Capitol
Hill and in the media. In just the first two weeks following the
shooting, GOA appeared in several hundred news outlets across the
country (newspaper articles, radio talk shows and TV debates).

* The April shooting jumpstarts anti-gun legislation sponsored by
Rep. McCarthy and Senator Chuck Schumer. In the name of stopping bad
guys like the Virginia Tech gunman, the Veterans Disarmament Act
would disarm hundreds of thousands of military veterans who are
suffering the ailments that frequently follow combat stress.

* Gun Owners of America begins activating its grassroots network on a
weekly basis (sometimes more), generating thousands upon thousands of
e-mails and phone calls into the House of Representatives in
opposition to the Veterans Disarmament Act.

June (Part 1)

* Betrayal! The House Democrat leadership secretly conspires to
bring up the Veterans Disarmament Act. Republicans find out the bill
is coming to the floor with only a couple of hours lead time. On
June 13, the bill passes without a recorded vote, and very few
Representatives are even present on the floor of the House.

As the bill moves to the Senate, GOA continues fighting the bill and
works to get other groups to join the battle. On June 18, the
Military Order of the Purple Heart takes a strong position against
the McCarthy-Schumer text.

* In other legislative battles, GOA helps kill an anti-gun
immigration bill that was introduced by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).
The bill contains harmful language which, in the hands of a future
anti-gun administration, would allow gun shops to be shut down and
classified as “criminal gangs.”

GOA gins up the grassroots in favor of a killer amendment that brings
the huge debate over the amnesty bill to a screeching halt. That one
amendment is credited by Capitol Hill insiders as being the biggest
reason this anti-gun bill was defeated by a 53-46 vote in the Senate.

June (Part 2)

* Big news. GOA’s Political Victory Fund raises thousands of dollars
for GOA Life Member Dr. Paul Broun, who is running to replace the
late Charlie Norwood in Georgia. The Republican Broun wins the
special election by 373 votes and is now a member of the U.S. House
of Representatives!

* More big news. The Supreme Court rules in favor of GOA in the FEC
v. Wisconsin RTL case! This victory makes it almost certain that GOA
will receive a favorable ruling from the Federal Election Commission
in August, thus allowing GOA to continue posting its candidate
ratings on the Internet.

July — August

* As the Congress prepares to go on recess, GOA registers its
complaints with an executive agency (Occupational Safety and Health
Administration) after it proposed regulations that could bring the
sale and transportation of ammunition in this country to a halt.
Less than two weeks later, the Labor Department (which oversees OSHA)
withdraws the regulations and states that, “OSHA is taking prompt
action to revise [and] clarify the purpose of the regulation.”

* GOA beats the Brady Campaign in the battle at the Federal Election
Commission! The FEC dismisses the Brady Bunch’s complaint against
Gun Owners and states that we have broken no laws in posting our
candidate ratings which educate the public.

September

* With Congress returning from their summer break, GOA continues to
generate a flood of e-mails, postcards, letters and faxes into
Senatorial offices — all in opposition to the Veterans Disarmament
Act.

* The fight against the McCarthy-Schumer bill is gaining steam, and
GOA announces two key allies are joining the fight against the
Veterans Disarmament Act. First, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) places a
hold on the Schumer bill — a “hold” being a parliamentary maneuver
which stalls the legislation and keeps it from easily advancing. The
Coburn hold has continued to bottle up the bill until this very day.

Second, the American Legion informs Senator Coburn that it is opposed
to the Veterans Disarmament Act, as it would “abrogate the rights of
certain service-connected disabled veterans to own firearms, a right
guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”

* In other issues, GOA works closely with Senator David Vitter (R-LA)
to craft language which stipulates that no U.S. funds can be used by
the United Nations — or organizations affiliated with the UN — to
restrict or tax our gun rights. Sen. Vitter pushes the pro-gun
language through the U.S. Senate on an 81-10 vote, as an amendment to
the Department of State appropriations bill.

October

* GOA’s founder and chairman, Sen. H.L. “Bill” Richardson (ret.),
issues an open letter to the gun community urging them to encourage
ALL PRO-GUN groups to stand united in opposition to the Veterans
Disarmament Act. You can see the letter at
http://www.gunowners.org/a100407.htm on the GOA website.

The letter states unequivocally that no compromise is acceptable on
the McCarthy-Schumer legislation.

* GOA activates its supporters in opposition to the Law of the Sea
Treaty (LOST), as it could allow the UN to force the closing of
firing ranges based on the bogus argument that runoff from these
ranges pollutes the world’s oceans.

November — December

* Gun Owners Foundation begins preparing an amicus brief for the U.S.
Supreme Court after the justices decide to take up Washington, D.C.’s
appeal after its gun ban is declared unconstitutional. An appellate
court ruled in March that the city’s draconian gun ban violated the
Second Amendment of the Constitution. The DC v. Heller case will
likely be heard next spring.

* Gun Owners Foundation is also continuing its defense of Ignacio
Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean — the two border patrol agents who
were convicted of shooting a Mexican drug smuggler on the U.S. side
of the border. GOF attorneys filed an amicus brief earlier in the
year which argued that Ramos and Compean were falsely convicted of
“firing a gun during the commission of a crime” — a crime that
doesn’t even exist in federal law.

While the “firing a gun” charge can serve as a sentence enhancement
to an underlying crime, the prosecutor would have to show that the
two border agents were unlawfully carrying firearms — a ludicrous
idea! It became very clear in December that two of the three judges
hearing the agents’ appeal were very familiar with GOF’s arguments,
as their questions to the prosecutor repeatedly focused on this
particular area of federal law. Prospects look good for a decision
reversing their conviction next year.

* When the Senate recently came within a couple of hours of
unanimously approving the anti-gun Michael Sullivan for the position
of BATFE Director, GOA sent an emergency fax to every Senate office,
urging them to oppose the Sullivan nomination. Thankfully, one
senator filed an official objection to Sullivan, and his nomination
was temporarily stalled.

GOA then generated a massive outpouring of opposition from its
activists, which resulted in yet another Senator placing a
“hold” on
the Sullivan nomination. The anti-gun appointment has now been put
off until next year.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAND WITH GOA IN 2008!

The ability of GOA to continue putting pressure on politicians
depends on loyal activists like you. GOA has been the national
leader when it comes to opposing the Veterans Disarmament Act.

In October, The Politico stated, “Gun Owners of America… has
launched grassroots efforts across the nation, backed by military
groups such as the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the
American Legion.”

Even as far back as April, Newsweek noted that, “The Gun Owners of
America [has] already launched a public campaign to block the
[McCarthy] legislation that the NRA supports, warning that the
proposal could ‘block millions of additional, honest gun owners from
buying firearms.'”

We can only continue fighting this pernicious legislation as long as
you continue to stand with us. You can stand with us today by
joining GOA at http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm (or renewing
your existing membership there).

Thieves at the Public Trough! Poacher convicted!

December 17, 2007

Way to go DOW! 

2004 POACHING CASE ENDS IN GUILTY PLEA FOR ELIZABETH RESIDENT

Elizabeth resident Jacob Haas, 22, has pled guilty to charges filed by a Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) officer stemming from the illegal take of an elk on private property on a ranch near Franktown in southern Douglas County.  Haas must pay the $10,000 ‘Samson’ surcharge for killing a trophy quality bull elk, is on probation for two years, and faces license suspension for illegally killing the bull elk and hunting on private property without permission.  The guilty plea is the culmination of three years of work on the case by District Wildlife Manager (DWM) Travis Harris.  Harris also credited the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s office and Douglas County Open Space rangers with helping secure evidence in the case.

On October 16, 2004, Haas and a friend entered private property and illegally killed a trophy-class bull elk.  DWM Harris received a tip and responded to the working cattle ranch south of Franktown. Douglas County Open Space rangers, a Douglas County sheriff deputy, and two other wildlife officers responded to the area and assisted Harris as he led the investigation. Among other violations, they found Haas had entered the ranch without permission from the landowners.

“It’s always unfortunate when people knowingly hunt on private property without first obtaining permission, since it can negatively impact a landowner’s willingness to allow legal hunters access in the future,” said Harris. “We want landowners to remember that this particular violation was intentional, and that the DOW will aggressively prosecute these cases when landowners are willing to press charges.”

DWM Harris also cited Haas with the killing of a 5×6 bull elk, prompting the assessment of the ‘Samson’ $10,000 surcharge. The Samson surcharge was passed into law in 1998 following the killing of Samson, a large bull elk, in Estes Park. “We take prosecuting poachers who target trophy animals very seriously,” said DWM Casey Westbrook, who assisted Harris in his investigation.

Haas faces suspension of his hunting, fishing, and falconry licenses. In Colorado, if someone accrues 20 or more points against their wildlife license privileges they can be suspended from those activities. An administrative hearing will determine the length of Haas’ suspension, which must then be approved by the Wildlife Commission. In especially egregious situations, lifetime suspensions can be imposed.

Harris added, “Residents of Douglas County are fortunate to live in a place with a rich and diverse wildlife resource. Some people will try to exploit this resource, and DOW relies on the support of the citizens and landowners to assist us in protecting and preserving Douglas County’s wildlife.”

Operation Game Thief is a Colorado Division of Wildlife program, which pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers. You can call us toll-free within Colorado at 1-877-COLO-OGT, Verizon cell phone users can dial #OGT, or contact us via e-mail at Operation Game Thief.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.
 

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

MOOSE IN GUNNISON AREA

December 17, 2007

A BIG thumbs up for the DOW on this one.

MEETING SET TO DISCUSS MOOSE IN GUNNISON AREA

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has scheduled a public meeting Dec. 18 to discuss releasing moose in the Gunnison-Lake City area to augment existing moose populations.
 
DOW wildlife managers will talk about two plans.
 
The first is the release of moose in the La Garita Mountains between the Continental Divide and Cebolla Creek in Game Management Unit 67 to augment the small population that exists there now. The habitat in that area is considered to be suitable for moose and the DOW plans to release an undetermined number of moose there this winter. Currently, just west of the proposed release area, a viable population of moose occurs near Lake City in GMU 66. Two moose hunting licenses are issued for that area annually. The DOW hopes to allow some moose hunting opportunity in GMU 67 in the near future.
 
Second, the DOW staff will discuss the release of moose into the Taylor Park area within the next two to three years. It’s estimated that about 20 moose live in Taylor Park; no hunting licenses are issued for that area. The DOW and the U.S. Forest Service will be studying vegetation there to determine long-term moose carrying capacity of the habitat. No decision has been made about if or when moose would be released at Taylor Park.
 
Moose moved into the two areas in the early 1990s, dispersing from the North Park and Creede areas where they were originally released in the late-1970s and early 1990s respectively.
 
The moose for the La Garitas will be transplanted from northern Utah where there is an abundance of moose. The animals are trapped by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and made available to the DOW. Moose will be given a certificate of good health, be fitted with radio collars and then transported via horse trailers and released as quickly as possible in the target area.
 
The DOW hopes to stabilize the existing moose populations in the LaGarita and Taylor Park areas. The transplants also will provide additional wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities in the near future. 
 
Wildlife managers want to hear from the general public and livestock producers about any possible concerns with adding more moose in theses areas. Discussion at the meeting will be limited to the moose plans.
 
The meeting will be at the Fred Field Western Heritage Center, Gunnison County Fairgrounds, 7 p.m., Dec. 18.
 
For more information, call J Wenum, Gunnison area wildlife manager, (970)641-7060.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK’S ELK MANAGMENT PLAN

December 17, 2007

DOW AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION CRITICAL OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK’S ELK MANAGMENT PLAN

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and the Colorado Wildlife Commission said Thursday that Rocky Mountain National Park’s decision to reduce elk numbers in the park with sharpshooters should rely instead on qualified volunteers.

The park’s Final Elk and Vegetation Management Plan will use sharpshooters to kill up to 200 elk a year to reduce the herd of about 3,000 elk to 1,600 to 2,100 animals.

Tom Burke, chairman of the Colorado Wildlife Commission, said qualified volunteers should cull the elk.

The park’s elk management plan, including the use of sharpshooters, would cost about $6 million and last for up to 20 years.

The overpopulation of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park has caused habitat damage to certain areas of the park. Hunting isn’t allowed in the park, established in 1913.

The DOW and the wildlife commission also oppose parts of the park’s plan involving the use of fertility control agents and wolves to thin elk herds. The Colorado Wildlife Commission took a position against those methods last year.

However, Burke praised the management plan for leaving open the option of using qualified volunteers as well as sharpshooters.

“Repeatedly, the Colorado Wildlife Commission has said that we are proponents of using qualified citizen volunteers to assist in managing the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Burke.

“Culling 100-200 or less elk a year may not have the impact desired on the current population of 3,000 in Rocky Mountain National Park,” he said. “The language in the plan falls short of our expectations.”

He also said fertility control agents and wolves shouldn’t be utilized because readily available citizen volunteers could cull the elk.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission is an eleven-member board that sets regulations and policies for hunting, fishing, watchable wildlife, non-game, threatened and endangered species.

The commission adopted a resolution in July of 2006 calling for the use of qualified public volunteers as the appropriate method to achieve the population reduction to the Rocky Mountain National Park elk herd.

“The Division of Wildlife and the Commission worked hard to develop a viable alternative to using federal tax dollars to fund government sharp shooters and wasting the carcasses,” said Burke.

“The plan isn’t reassuring when it comes to addressing our constituents’ concerns pertaining to either of those issues,” he said. “We believe we owe it to our constituents to get a stronger commitment from the park staff to use qualified public volunteers to restore a natural balance in the park.”

The resolution is available at:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeCommission/Archives/2006/July2006.htm To reach the resolution, click “Minutes” and scroll to pages 49 and 50.
 
 

I agree wholeheartedly with the DOW about this. These people at the Parks Service so obviously don’t listen to outsiders like the people that they serve, or other agencies that it is pathetic!


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