During the last budget the justice system got cut and several people were released from their jobs putting a strain on the local administration of justice. Education got cut, medical care got cut as did many social service organizations. All of them protested the cuts and some got money back to help them sustain their organizations.
As a hunter one of my biggest concerns is the cuts to the number of conservation officers out there now. (Very few) From what I hear there are some pockets around the island who are celebrating the cuts sighting the loss of enforcement as a good thing. Poaching will be much easier than ever before.
Are there any organizations that we know of who are organized and protesting this action. If we don't it will only be a few short years before we cannot find game to hunt anymore. Reckless disregard for conservation and selfish pursuit of hunting will invariably bring an end to an activity we all love.
And please don't come up with the argument that it is my God given right to hunt what ever I want. Or that your Grandfather hunted caribou all his life and so should I. etc. Times have changed and preservation is paramount.
I have not come across any organization yet willing to take this on. A petition or unified protest would be in order.
Fred, You Could not be father from the truth. We will never, or have we ever said we will make demands on government, as in gimmie this or that. We are working hard to find solutions to present to government that will show first and foremost that we are doing the research and hard work to find solutions that they and our group will agree with. Take for instance, Youth hunting, we are working to put together a mentoring program, researching what other jurisdictions have done, the successes and pitfalls (if any). before we approach government. No One wants to hear from or deal with people whining or demanding anything. We want to, as stated above, come to government with answers in hand so they can review our work and be able to sit down and discuss the issues. This is for sure a new approach.
Furthermore, We all understand that not everyone will be able to attend every meeting. And, Yes we have been compiling a "blue book" of issues that people can add their comments to. likewise Fred, conservation issues are on the foremost on our minds. Like the moose hunting license reduction. It was a great first start but more needs to be done. the season needs to be shortened, and yes more license cuts need to be made! Government has issued over 5000 licenses in response to the emotional pressure of a few. They reduced that number last year by 630 licenses, and this year a further 1500. Yet, that still leaves over 2000 extra licenses in the system. there must be more science done by the department to fully understand the extent of the moose decline. further license reductions may need to follow.
As for the driving principles of this organization is concerned, well Fred, to me it is simple. 1) Preserve our "sport" long into the future.
2) To change peoples attitudes toward hunters and anglers. as you have said "As Hunters and Fishers we are but one user of the natural resources of this province. Increasingly we are becoming a minorityhave an awful image problem, and rightly so. We have worked hard to earn it." We have to change our mind set, Improve our image, and take responsibility for the mistakes of the past. We are a new group, with fresh Ideas, with sincere motivations. As I have said, we do not have all the answers, that is why we need people like you and Kevin to help create something we all can be proud of.