Common sense needed in wildlife management

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HJR-2 just doesn’t make sense. In fact, it smells fishy. It smells like a back-room political deal and it feels like we are being “played.” There is no threat, or any potential threat, to our ability to hunt, fish, or trap. If HJR-2 is defeated, nothing will change. But the Legislature says we need a new civil right that’s on the same level as our right of free speech and religion.

Idaho’s wildlife belongs to all of us but less than 0.1 percent of Idahoans engage in trapping. If HJR-2 is approved, the 99.9-plus percent of the rest of us won’t be allowed to have changes made to trapping regulations because it will be a constitutionally protected right. Is that democracy?

Where’s the public debate and media discussion about this amendment to help us make an informed decision? HJR-2 wasn’t even read in the Legislature over a period of days, as is required by our Constitution to ensure that such things are properly discussed and considered. Instead, the rules were suspended by citing a “case of urgency.” What urgency? Is this any way to create a new civil right?

The ballot arguments for passing HJR-2 specifically identify that it is for “sportsmen.” HJR-2 sets a bad precedent because it is not a human right needed by every Idahoan, as are all the other amendments in Article 1. HJR-2 just doesn’t pass the smell test. Don’t let them get away with sneaking such special-interest legislation past us. Vote NO on HJR-2.

BILL HOWELL

Bonners Ferry

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