Friday, October 26, 2012

Proposed amendment may not perform as advertised


Idahoans have not read or heard enough debate on the ramifications of H.J.R. 2 as amended—the proposed constitutional amendment whose stated purpose is to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap—to cast an informed vote.

It doesn’t matter if a voter is for or against pursuing game animals. There’s simply not enough information out there to explain the ramifications of the amendment if it passes.

It may or may not perform as advertised. Without some in-depth discussion about its effects on the law and the state’s ability to manage wildlife, we risk enshrining a provision in the state constitution that could backfire on even the most ardent supporters of hunting, fishing and trapping. Supporters could find that the amendment carries unhappy unintended consequences that may surface down the line. There’s currently no way to know and information is scanty.

Even so, the Idaho Legislature approved the ballot measure and the Idaho Fish and Game Commission supports it as well.

Constitutional scholar David Adler, who heads the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, compared the amendment to adding a right to smoke or a right to ride a bicycle.

On its face, the measure would seem to be a no-brainer in a state where hunting and fishing are deeply rooted in family and community traditions, a state loved by Ernest Hemingway because of those outdoor traditions. Even in Idaho, however, many people have mixed feelings about trapping.

The amendment is rooted in fears that as the state grows city folk with no connection to these traditions will become politically dominant, and opponents may gain enough support to outlaw them or regulate them out of existence. It’s rooted in the fact that young people today are more likely to try to knock out green pigs in Angry Birds, a popular web game, than to learn the art of pursuing wild game. It’s also being driven by super-heated rhetoric from national animal rights groups that decry all forms of game hunting.

Whether the fears are well-founded is arguable. Whether the amendment will affect the state’s ability to base game management on science instead of politics is also unknown. In the face of the unknowns, the conservative move for voters is to vote no.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.