Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
Say What? Our tax dollars pay for anti-hunting crusades?
“Sportsmen and non-sportsmen alike should be appalled that their tax dollars are being given away to pay for frivolous lawsuits filed by anti-hunting and other activist organizations.” So states Jeremy Rine in a release from the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.
It appears that the U.S. Department of Justice’s payouts, called the “Judgment Fund,” for attorneys’ fees in lawsuits brought against the government, include more than $6 million (from Oct. 1, 2008 to April 4, 2012). The Endangered Species Act provides for plaintiffs, who in this case are activist organizations that oppose hunting, to recover their attorneys’ costs where they have “at least some success on the merits of the case.”
That means more than 25 percent of the recovered costs for attorneys (total was $21 million) went to pay for animal rights’ and environmental organizations’ legal representation. Who might that be? The article lists the Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
We see this happening all the time. Suing the government when these groups don’t agree with a state’s wildlife management policy. Claiming that biologists can’t count, that democracy outweighs conservation and employing other tactics to delay and dissuade conservation efforts that allow the tradition of hunting.
What can we do? Let your congressional reps know. Let your voices be heard and your dismay over the fact that $6 million went for these types of payments – instead of to conservation efforts or hey, even paying down the national debt.