“Without hunters, conservation wouldn’t exist. That’s a simple fact.”
That’s the message that hunting advocate and journalist Gabriella Hoffman brought to students at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. While the political Left and radical greens claim they are the champions of conservation, what they really mean is cutting off humanity from any meaningful interaction with wildlife at all.
In fact, without fishing and hunting, funding for conservation of wildlife and habitats would be dangerously low. “We’re often told that true conservationists are hippies who hug trees…who are entrenched in a radical environmentalism philosophy, but that’s not true,” Hoffman explained.
“A lot of the times we hear that conservation is preservation. Meaning no touching, no taking of natural resources safely, no exploring, no footprint, no hunting etc.,” Hoffman went on. “It’s important to note that you shouldn’t conflate conservation with preservation. Again its a managed plan system of natural resources, meaning you don’t take more than your lot…and you’re mindful of the environment and the animals that you are pursuing too.”
“The talk was great, we really appreciate the work CFACT did in bringing Gabriella to us,” explained Nathan Burdette, a freshman at the University. “We definitely want to do more on this subject going forward. The students who attended were highly engaged in the hunting and conservation subject.”
Hoffman went through a history of conservation efforts, and explained that in the 1800’s, many species, such as waterfowl, wild turkey, elk, and bear were nearing extinction due to the tragedy of the commons, which refers to everyone taking as many resources as they can without ownership, and without concern for whether there will be any left for the future.
Today, hunting and fishing helps directly fund efforts to conserve for the future, however.
“We all pay excise taxes whenever we purchase rifles, ammunition, archery, fishing tackle, and licenses,” Hoffman added. “Anything you pay going into your fishing or hunting experience, that is in the form of an excise tax. 80% of funding for habitat and wildlife restoration efforts come from anglers, hunters, and shooting sports enthusiasts. Some on the left, such as REI and Patagonia, say they fund these efforts better by not killing any animals, but without hunters…these conservation efforts would be nonexistent.”
You can watch Gabriella Hoffman’s speech here.
The talk was part of CFACT’s Save Our Species campaign, which focuses on how private property rights, hunting, and free markets can save endangered species from extinction and can conserve wildlife and habitats.