Legislation shows hunting allowed in wilderness

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A recent letter claimed that wilderness protection for Scotchman Peaks would mean no hunting in that area. After looking closely at 36CFR261, I fail to see anything that automatically bans hunting in designated wilderness.

It is true that “each Forest Supervisor may issue orders which close or restrict” uses (36CFR261.50), and that includes prohibiting possession of firearms and firework (36CFR261.57) in wilderness. However, similar restrictive orders prohibiting “discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun” and “hunting or fishing” can occur on any part of the National Forest (36CFR261.58). “May” does not mean “will”.

In addition, 36CFR293.10 (Wilderness-Primitive Areas) clearly states that wildlife management – including hunting – is not affected by the designation. It reads, “Nothing in the regulations in this part shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibility of the several States with respect to wildlife and fish in the National Forests.”

Stick to the facts, please.

BONNIE JAKUBOS

Sagle

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