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March 25, 2010
Sierra Club: We Support Hunting But... - 17

In recent years The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental membership organization, has gone to great lengths to appear supportive of hunting, fishing and scientific wildlife management in an attempt to distance itself from more recognizable—and radical—anti-hunting organizations.

It’s now a supporting member of a national professional organization of hunting and fishing writers and features biographies of its “conservation leaders” who hunt and fish on its Web site.

The Sierra Club’s official policy on hunting reads, in part: “Acceptable management approaches include both regulated periodic hunting and fishing when based on sufficient scientifically valid biological data and when consistent with all other management purposes and when necessary (for) total protection of particular species or populations.”

Is it just me, or does that still leave a lot of wiggle room?

I offer as a case in point, this week’s statement from the Sierra Club opposing a California Department of Fish and Game proposal to expand bear hunting and the use of hounds in The Golden State. 

The proposal, made public in January, would expand bear hunting with hounds beyond Tuolumne and Calaveras counties and would allow use of GPS tracking collars fitted with tip switches that indicate when an animal is treed. It would also increase the annual bear harvest from 1,700 to 2,500 and lengthen the season statewide.

The reason for the changes put forth by the state agency is simple: there are too many bears and more need to be killed.

This week’s Sierra Club press release claims the rule changes will lead to increased bear poaching, among other things.

“We strongly oppose uncontrolled hounding of bears, a practice which results in gruesome injuries to bears and dogs,” states the press release. “The use of dogs to hunt bears is the favored method of bear poachers.”

Richard J. Garcia, who chairs the Sierra Club’s Black Bear Task Force, stresses that the organization doesn’t oppose bear hunting, just the use of hounds and tracking collars. He told the Sonora Union Democrat this week that the Sierra Club contends that forcing dogs and bears into “violent interactions” violates animal cruelty laws.

“If you’re going to kill our bears, do it humanely,” Garcia said. “We’re not calling for a halt of bear hunting.”

The professional biologists with California Fish and Game correctly understand that the best and most effective method to control burgeoning bear numbers in the rugged California backcountry is pursuit with trained hounds by experienced hunters. In the vast Western landscapes, it’s simply not practical to hunt bears through drives or spot-and-stalk.

We’ll side with the professionals on this one. 

Comments (17)

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from basman wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

well lets see if this is how it goes.... i support the sierra club but wont be joining them. hunting is here for a reason, not just for money, or killing....but control and balance is its main objective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Doug Walters wrote 4 years 1 week ago

When The sierra club puts out info like that, it makes me start to think about not joining again, just like in mississippi the game folks don't get to set the hunting seasons and kill limits, its all getting to be run by politics.....SAD DAYS>

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I truly believe the Sierra Club just let loose there Judas goat for all to follow ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Doug Walters wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

When you have too many bears and cougers ,killing is killing any way you do it, by limb or by gun, using dogs is helping to raise the kill total higher, would you rather have your wife or child killed and not use the dogs, grow up Sierra CLUB.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the education on the subject. Wow, I didn't realize what a huge problem the bear population is and how many people actually enjoy shooting them. I just sort of dropped in here to learn so don't be too hard on me. If my head is in the sand just because I am a newbie, then so be it-that is the learning process. Guns are not my forte-never grew up with them. In the 30 yrs. I have lived in this area, I have only seen one bear and one cub and I was way way back in the mountains at a reserve. I hear about my teenage students shooting bears, but they talk about shooting everything in their back yards (I don't know whether or not to believe them).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Control their reproduction????? More "head in the sand" thinking. The bear problem is NOW! The cost of capture alone makes it a undesirable. I've been involved with the live capture & release of wild animals; it's dangerous for both the animal & the trappers. Drug overdose is more common than reported. Some animals injure themselves to the point they have to be euthanatized

I did omit another "stop gap" measure:
Allow for the "baiting" of bears in season. It's a practice common in many states and Canada but not allowed in California.
As for the Sierra Club, yes I too have found much of their information useful and spot on (air quality, polution, land use, etc) But on hunting bears, they are way off base, missed the boat, etc.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

wow the things people say "birth control" lol RED FLAG!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

therailer, the efforts to control reproduction have been miserable failures everywhere it has been tried, as far as animals is concerned. China has been very successful in the control of human population, but they aren't the most understanding place when they talk about the subject. But, in the venue of animal birth control, it is very expensive and it only works in the minds of the "Save the Animals" and "Stop the hunting" crowds.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

with about 50 years of hunting & fishing under my belt, i have learned to take most things in life with a grain of
"salt", but as for the sierra club,they have been talking out of the side of there mouths for years.they don't want any one to be able to hunt or fish. they are in the same class as petta,as far as i can see.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

What about controlling the reproduction to keep the numbers down? Time will take care of the numbers after that. Guess I must be from another planet. I find the information from the Sierra Club totally useful and accurate. I like it when we work with one another and find solutions to issues that will otherwise divide us. I feel we will evolve more easily when the doors of dialog are left open. I also listen to the wisdom of the greatest photographers - Ansel Adams, and even James Balog, who sure know how to capture the beauty of nature. Once I saw a photo. of a wolf that looked exactly like mine but I think James Balog took the photo. He is inspiring.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

What about controlling the reproduction to keep the numbers down? Time will take care of the numbers after that. Guess I must be from another planet. I find the information from the Sierra Club totally useful and accurate. I like it when we work with one another and find solutions to issues that will otherwise divide us. I feel we will evolve more easily when the doors of dialog are left open. I also listen to the wisdom of the greatest photographers - Ansel Adams, and even James Balog, who sure know how to capture the beauty of nature. Once I saw a photo. of a wolf that looked exactly like mine but I think James Balog took the photo. He is inspiring.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Some intersting comments above but like the article says a little too much wiggle room.
Anyway;
Here in California we are over run with bears (and lions too) The deer populations have suffered greatly as a result. So what are we to do? Without the use of hounds to hunt & reduce theirs numbers you're just whistling in the wind.
Some "stop gap" measures in lieu of returning to hound hunting might be free bear tags ($40 res, $245 non res)to encourage hunters to shoot a bear legally
or
the more expensive and very unsportsmanlike method of trapping the bear and then the bear is euthanatized.
Neither will work economicly or politically and will not allow for a enough of a reduction in bear numbers to fix the problem. So we are back to hound hunting as the only method to control an out of control bear population.
The increase being proposed by the California Fish & Game IMHO is just a drop in the bucket; a far larger number is required to influence the bear population.
So the Sierra Club is way out of step with the reality of hunting bears in California.
Off my Soap Box for now!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Look at the bright side--at least the Sierra Club isn't totally against hunting. But I agree with J.R.--way too much wiggle room in that policy statement. And like the rest of you, I remain suspicious. Groups like this tend to attract the animal rights extremists. I hope Lionhearted's observation proves to be right in the long run--only time will tell.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lionhearted wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Conservation is OK idea, however, those idiots who embrace it in their own way and wrestle those efforts and funds towards their own way of preserving nature - they are the problem... They treat wild animals like pets, or better yet as humans...
I sense that Sierra Club is trying to break free from that influence. Maybe I am not right in that observation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

groups like this support or oppose whatever cause gets them noticed at the time.they flip,flop more than a fish out of water!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I have to second Mike. I do not trust any of the Environmental groups as they are populated with too many people who hold an extreme distaste for what we as hunters do.
The argument given to oppose bear hunting with dogs is, I believe, disingenuous. It sounds like they are trying to walk both sides of the fence and keep everyone happy, kind of like the Obamanation saying he agreed with the Heller Decision when he has been for gun control.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

My defenses have always gone up with the mention of any environmental organization, including the Sierra Club, though they are the best of them. When eco-terrorist Paul Watson and his mindless cohorts made it onto their board that sealed it up for me. They severed those ties, but the fact that it happened at all will never allow me to support or trust the Sierra Club.

But conservation issues can sometimes take on strange bedfellows. Even with differing philosophies we sometimes work on the same issues. But when the work is done that void between conservation and environmentalism is still there.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from Mike wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

My defenses have always gone up with the mention of any environmental organization, including the Sierra Club, though they are the best of them. When eco-terrorist Paul Watson and his mindless cohorts made it onto their board that sealed it up for me. They severed those ties, but the fact that it happened at all will never allow me to support or trust the Sierra Club.

But conservation issues can sometimes take on strange bedfellows. Even with differing philosophies we sometimes work on the same issues. But when the work is done that void between conservation and environmentalism is still there.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Look at the bright side--at least the Sierra Club isn't totally against hunting. But I agree with J.R.--way too much wiggle room in that policy statement. And like the rest of you, I remain suspicious. Groups like this tend to attract the animal rights extremists. I hope Lionhearted's observation proves to be right in the long run--only time will tell.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

with about 50 years of hunting & fishing under my belt, i have learned to take most things in life with a grain of
"salt", but as for the sierra club,they have been talking out of the side of there mouths for years.they don't want any one to be able to hunt or fish. they are in the same class as petta,as far as i can see.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

I have to second Mike. I do not trust any of the Environmental groups as they are populated with too many people who hold an extreme distaste for what we as hunters do.
The argument given to oppose bear hunting with dogs is, I believe, disingenuous. It sounds like they are trying to walk both sides of the fence and keep everyone happy, kind of like the Obamanation saying he agreed with the Heller Decision when he has been for gun control.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Some intersting comments above but like the article says a little too much wiggle room.
Anyway;
Here in California we are over run with bears (and lions too) The deer populations have suffered greatly as a result. So what are we to do? Without the use of hounds to hunt & reduce theirs numbers you're just whistling in the wind.
Some "stop gap" measures in lieu of returning to hound hunting might be free bear tags ($40 res, $245 non res)to encourage hunters to shoot a bear legally
or
the more expensive and very unsportsmanlike method of trapping the bear and then the bear is euthanatized.
Neither will work economicly or politically and will not allow for a enough of a reduction in bear numbers to fix the problem. So we are back to hound hunting as the only method to control an out of control bear population.
The increase being proposed by the California Fish & Game IMHO is just a drop in the bucket; a far larger number is required to influence the bear population.
So the Sierra Club is way out of step with the reality of hunting bears in California.
Off my Soap Box for now!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

therailer, the efforts to control reproduction have been miserable failures everywhere it has been tried, as far as animals is concerned. China has been very successful in the control of human population, but they aren't the most understanding place when they talk about the subject. But, in the venue of animal birth control, it is very expensive and it only works in the minds of the "Save the Animals" and "Stop the hunting" crowds.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from GoldToyBox wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Control their reproduction????? More "head in the sand" thinking. The bear problem is NOW! The cost of capture alone makes it a undesirable. I've been involved with the live capture & release of wild animals; it's dangerous for both the animal & the trappers. Drug overdose is more common than reported. Some animals injure themselves to the point they have to be euthanatized

I did omit another "stop gap" measure:
Allow for the "baiting" of bears in season. It's a practice common in many states and Canada but not allowed in California.
As for the Sierra Club, yes I too have found much of their information useful and spot on (air quality, polution, land use, etc) But on hunting bears, they are way off base, missed the boat, etc.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

groups like this support or oppose whatever cause gets them noticed at the time.they flip,flop more than a fish out of water!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

wow the things people say "birth control" lol RED FLAG!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Doug Walters wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

When you have too many bears and cougers ,killing is killing any way you do it, by limb or by gun, using dogs is helping to raise the kill total higher, would you rather have your wife or child killed and not use the dogs, grow up Sierra CLUB.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Old Salts wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I truly believe the Sierra Club just let loose there Judas goat for all to follow ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Doug Walters wrote 4 years 1 week ago

When The sierra club puts out info like that, it makes me start to think about not joining again, just like in mississippi the game folks don't get to set the hunting seasons and kill limits, its all getting to be run by politics.....SAD DAYS>

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lionhearted wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Conservation is OK idea, however, those idiots who embrace it in their own way and wrestle those efforts and funds towards their own way of preserving nature - they are the problem... They treat wild animals like pets, or better yet as humans...
I sense that Sierra Club is trying to break free from that influence. Maybe I am not right in that observation.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the education on the subject. Wow, I didn't realize what a huge problem the bear population is and how many people actually enjoy shooting them. I just sort of dropped in here to learn so don't be too hard on me. If my head is in the sand just because I am a newbie, then so be it-that is the learning process. Guns are not my forte-never grew up with them. In the 30 yrs. I have lived in this area, I have only seen one bear and one cub and I was way way back in the mountains at a reserve. I hear about my teenage students shooting bears, but they talk about shooting everything in their back yards (I don't know whether or not to believe them).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from basman wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

well lets see if this is how it goes.... i support the sierra club but wont be joining them. hunting is here for a reason, not just for money, or killing....but control and balance is its main objective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

What about controlling the reproduction to keep the numbers down? Time will take care of the numbers after that. Guess I must be from another planet. I find the information from the Sierra Club totally useful and accurate. I like it when we work with one another and find solutions to issues that will otherwise divide us. I feel we will evolve more easily when the doors of dialog are left open. I also listen to the wisdom of the greatest photographers - Ansel Adams, and even James Balog, who sure know how to capture the beauty of nature. Once I saw a photo. of a wolf that looked exactly like mine but I think James Balog took the photo. He is inspiring.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from therailer wrote 4 years 3 weeks ago

What about controlling the reproduction to keep the numbers down? Time will take care of the numbers after that. Guess I must be from another planet. I find the information from the Sierra Club totally useful and accurate. I like it when we work with one another and find solutions to issues that will otherwise divide us. I feel we will evolve more easily when the doors of dialog are left open. I also listen to the wisdom of the greatest photographers - Ansel Adams, and even James Balog, who sure know how to capture the beauty of nature. Once I saw a photo. of a wolf that looked exactly like mine but I think James Balog took the photo. He is inspiring.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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