The newest form of ‘anti-hunting’

Garry Leaf from Sportsmen for Change this morning forwarded me a
news clipping from the Feb. 7 edition of the Pope County
Tribune. At a recent meeting of the Pope County Board, the
local Corn and Soybean Grower’s Association presented a letter
supporting the county’s position of “no net gain” of public lands
in the county. Everywhere you turn these days in Minnesota, we read
about the cause du jour among Big Ag, wanna-be sage-brushers, and
wise-use extremists: stop all public land acquisition. It’s time to
stop mincing words about these efforts and call them what they are:

Outdoor News has devoted considerable ink and space to
Rep. Steve Drazkowski’s bill that would allow for no net gain of
public lands in the state of Minnesota. Off the record, I’m hearing
that these goofy county ordinances already are creating
considerable problems for conservation groups from acquiring key
parcels from willing sellers. The one in Pope County passed
unanimously last summer and states a no net gain of land by the
Minnesota, DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and any tax-exempt
land trust.

Yep, in Pope County, they’re against wildlife habitat and proud
of it!

Funny how wise users are all about property rights, at least
until a property owner wants to sell his land for conservation
purposes. Then to hell with landowner rights and hunting access, I

Let’s be clear here: The Farm Bureau and Corn and Soybean Growers
don’t give a damn about property rights. They care about keeping
the soil out of grass and in corn and soybeans, because it means
their membership sells more fertilizer, farm implements, drain
tile, and seed corn. Oh yeah, but keep those taxpayer subsidies for
ethanol so the falsely inflated price for a bushel of corn helps
justify this anti-conservation viewpoint.

A major limiting factor for future sporting life in America is
access to hunting ground. I consider all of these “no net gain”
bills to be anti-conservation, anti-environment, and

One more time, from my column last week, here are the phone numbers
of all the misguided legislators who have co-authored Steve
Drazkowski’s no net gain of public lands bill. If you recognize the
name of your representative below, give him or her a call and
insist they stop opposing wild lands and hunter access.

Steve Drazkowski, 28B, R-Mazeppa, (651) 296-2273; David Dill,
6A, DFL-Crane Lake, (651) 296-2190; Tom Rukavina, 5A, DFL-Virginia,
(651) 296-0170; Mike Benson, 30B, R-Rochester, (651) 296-4378;
Peggy Scott, 49A, R-Andover, (651) 296-4231; Bruce Anderson, 19A,
R-Buffalo Township, (651) 296-5063; Tim Sanders, 51A, R-Blaine,
(651) 296-4226; Dan Fabian, 1A, R-Roseau, (651) 296-9635; David
Hancock, 2B, R-Bemidji, (651) 296-4265; Mary Franson, 11B,
R-Alexandria, 651-296-3201; Mary Kiffmeyer, 16B, R-Big Lake, (651)
296-4237; Glenn Gruenhagen, 25A, R-Glencoe, (651) 296-4229; Ernie
Leidiger, 34A, R-Mayer, (651) 296-4282; Steve Gottwalt 15A, St.
Cloud, (651) 296-6316; Kathy Lohmer 56A, R-Lake Elmo (651)
296-4244; Carolyn McElfatrick 3B, R-Deer River, (651) 296-2365;
Rep. Torrey Westrom, 11A, R-Elbow Lake, (651) 296-4929; and Rep.
Paul Anderson, 13A, R-Starbuck, (651) 296-4317.

One moment of positivity before we sign off: I
sat next to Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, Tuesday evening at
the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance banquet in St. Paul. I
thanked her for authoring a bill, House File 270, which would force
the technical committee meetings between the Minnesota DNR, eight
Ojibwe bands, and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
to be subject to open meetings law and open to the public. Here’s
the text, and once again, thank you Rep. Erickson for authoring
this bill.


Meetings between the Department of Natural Resources, the eight
Ojibwe bands, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife
Commission regarding the 1837 treaty rights shall be open to the
public and subject to the open meeting provisions under chapter


Categories: Rob Drieslein

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