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Fishing, hunting groups say members can build support for new national monuments

A hunter walks through a field.
Creative Commons Courtesy: @thekevinchang
A hunter walks through a field.

Federal law gives the president power to create national monuments, and a new report from several fishing and hunting groups argues that taking their interests into account will help build coalitions for new monuments.

The report says Congress is gridlocked and “public land conservation is often not prioritized even when strong local and bipartisan support exists.” But, it adds, the 1906 Antiquities Act provides a means for the president to do “what Congress has failed to accomplish.”

The report – “National Monuments: a hunting and fishing perspective” – also notes that designating monuments can be controversial.

John Gale of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, one of the groups behind the report, said his coalition of public lands users can help build support for new monuments. Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership were also involved in the report.

“Hunters and anglers carry outsized influence, both politically and in how much they use our public lands and waters,” said Gale, vice president of policy and government relations for his organization.

He added that by including this constituency with local community leaders, tribal nations and others, “we can build really cohesive coalitions that are moving powerful, impactful conservation outcomes together.”

The report outlines eight points to foster hunter and angler support for proposed monuments.

They include ensuring that state agencies have management authority over fish and wildlife, that proposals are developed through a public process, and that reasonable access for hunting, fishing and species management is assured.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Hey everyone! I’m Murphy Woodhouse, Boise State Public Radio’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter.

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