Friday, March 4, 2011

Update: Conservative conservationists

© 2011 Joshua Stark

In my previous post, I asked where they were, and I've got my answer:

A couple days back, a number of conservation and environmentalist groups testified before a California Assembly Committee - among them, representatives from the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA), our hunting lobby.  What were they talking about? 

They were informing the California Legislature of the horrible, horrible proposals of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the devastation they will wreak on conservation. 

If you want to read what they have to say, click here: "Congress Considers Massive Cuts to Wildlife Programs".

I often despair that large, corporate enterprises have eaten American conservatism.  It allows for large, corporate enterprises, but it holds many other values equally, or more, important than the mere hoarding of capital. I'm heartened to see conservatives making clear that wildness, and its appreciation, are American virtues.

In other, related news about conservative conservation, Western Farm Press reports that, "California farms and ranches now make up more than 20 percent of all operations in the nation with solar, wind and methane digester use", according to the USDA.

Lest ye forget, amidst the shock-media decrying our horrific fiscal situation, California still leads the nation in many things.  Including green energy.  And agriculture.


Erik Jensen said...

Josh - Great blog, got here from Holly's. I question the idea that the hunting lobby is necessarily conservative - it has many factions, just like other political forces. There's Safari Club International and there's the Izaak Walton League. Overall, it's more of a cultural divide - liberalism is generally more pwoerful in big, urban settings...where fewer people hunt. Hunters are more numerous in rural areas, which tend to be more politically conservative. Also, it depends on where you live. Here in MN, a state with high hunting participation, the last big pro-hunting/conservation coalition initiative, a tax increase to pay for wildlife habitat, clean water, parks and trails, and the arts, was supported uniformly by the hunting lobby and progressive forces, and officially opposed by the GOP. In the last governor's election, sportsmen and women preferred the Dem (who won) because of his participation in hunting and support for conservation. The GOP candidate was an avid hunter, but opposed conservation efforts, there by he lost the hunting/angling vote. I doubt you'd see these dynamics in California.

Josh said...

Erik, thanks for stopping in! I completely agree - being a lefty hunter, myself.

When I talk about environmentalism here at this blog, I'm looking for those places where OPP (other peoples' politics) divide our community, from Safari Club, Intl., to the Center for Biological Diversity. There is a real divide within environmentalism/conservationism, so much so that I can't use either of those terms to describe it, but we advocate for the same goals.