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Reader's View: Support pro-hunting, pro-habitat initiative

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During the last century-plus, no other segment of society has done so much to restore and preserve wildlife habitat as hunters. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 72% of sportsmen depend on access to public lands for hunting. None would be happy driving up to their favorite spots to find a locked gate and a “Keep Out” sign.

Unfortunately, Congressman Pete Stauber, representative of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, doesn’t seem to understand the importance of public lands and other habitat to hunters. During 2021, Stauber and some Republican colleagues mischaracterized the Biden administration’s “Conserving 30 Percent of America’s Land and Waters by 2030” initiative — or “30x30” — as a “land grab.”

The greatest threat to hunting isn’t the PETAs of the world. The greatest threat to hunting is habitat loss. Everything 30x30 is designed to do would benefit the hunting community.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney has praised efforts to conserve a minimum of 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. “We commend the Biden administration for taking a bold step forward toward their long-term conservation,” Tawney said in January 2021 in Tri-State Livestock News. “We share a commitment to securing important landscapes, maintaining biodiversity, and advancing durable policy solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

In October, more than 50 hunting and fishing organizations sent their joint 30x30 recommendations to President Joe Biden. Chris Horton, a senior director at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, is optimistic “that the effort will lead to the kind of conservation hunters and anglers have been pushing for well over a century,” as he said in Outdoor Life in October.

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For additional information, see the Hunting and Fishing Community s tatement on the 30 by 30 initiative at huntfish3030.com.

David A. Lien

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The writer, formerly of Grand Rapids and a former Air Force officer, is an author, conservationist, and the founder and former chairman of Minnesota Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (backcountryhunters.org).


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