Also on the agenda for the county council meeting: appointment of applicants for the wildlife advisory committee.
First the good news. The county received two applications from the Lummi Business Council (one as an alternative) to make sure that Lummi values and concerns are being addressed.
Now for the bad news. The county received an application from someone who is a general contractor and a state certified master hunter (trophy hunting), and founder of Cascadia Naturalist Association, which as far as I can tell, involves tracking animals for great distances in remote areas, allegedly to learn more about ecology. (Alternatively, they could read up on ecosystems functions and critical area protection.) There appears to be a connection between this person and the Whatcom Land Trust. The applicant wants to serve as a link between the scientific community and the hunting and non-hunting community.
This committee is about wildlife management and conservation. Hunting is incompatible with conservation, and the fact that this is not commonly understood is one of the worst sell-outs committed by our government and many members of the conservation community, primarily the larger and better funded organizations that do not want to lose donors.
However, as part of the CAO review, I cited numerous studies that reflected the extensive impacts of outdoor recreation on wildlife and biodiversity. Among all outdoor forms of recreation, hunting had the most devastating impacts. How hard is it to understand that the same activities that have led to extinction of hundreds of species is not the gold standard of conservation?
Anyone with even a remedial understanding of how ecosystems function understands that nature balances the size of species populations without any help from the human species. In fact, it did so for millions of years before we evolved on this planet. The truth about wildlife management is that it is a scam to promote the interests of trophy hunters, or business profits (as seen in the recent killings of Columbia river cormorants who eat salmon.) There is a reason that these wildlife agencies were originally called what they really are.. the Department of game and hunting.
I think that a recreational hunter should be working with an outdoor recreation committee, rather than with a wildlife conservation committee. However, I do not think that is the view shared by members of the county council. Nor is it coincidence that the County CAO exempts hunting as a “low impact activity.”
This has got to stop. We need to restore healthy ecosystem functions, which includes predators currently missing from our community. And we need to expose the truth about hunters. How does such a small (5% of population and declining) exert so much power? And no, it is not because it pays its own way. That is a myth, among the many myths surrounding hunting.
Because I am an applicant, I am not really at liberty to weigh in on this matter to the county council, but I am not going to stop educating the public on the truth, whether or not it costs me a position on the committee.