Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Sierra Club Creates Contest to Finance a Sport Hunting Trip to Encourage Hunting: Director Resigns in Protest

No, this is not a joke. Though I wish it was.

So the Sierra Club now supports hunting??? When in the world did this happen? This is an outrage beyond all outrages. A self-professed environmental group supports a practice that actually leads to species destruction?? What else can I say? Ridiculous.

Sierra Club Director Resigns to Protest Hunting Prize

FRIDAY HARBOR, Washington, April 17, 2006 (ENS) - Sierra Club Director Paul Watson, one of the 15 national directors of the Sierra Club, resigned today from the National Board of the Sierra Club.
He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2003 for a three year term. His term ends May 17, 2006.
Saying, “I won’t fade quietly into the night,” Watson resigned to protest the use of Sierra Club resources to finance a sport hunting trip to encourage hunting.
Watson was not notified of a contest posted in January 2006. The contest is an essay competition entitled Why I Hunt?
The first prize is a $12,700 hunting trip to the Sportsman’s Lodge in Alaska. Additional prizes totaling $3,000 will also be awarded.
“It appears to me that the Sierra Club should have better projects to spend $15,700 on than sending some nimrod to Alaska to shoot wildlife,” said Watson. “Last year they turned down my request for a $5,000 grant to assist the rangers in the Galapagos National Park deal with poachers."
Watson last year protested the posting of pictures of Sierra Club leaders posing with their trophy kills on the Sierra Club website. Each year, he says, the environmental organization is spending over $200,000 on hunter outreach programs despite the fact that fewer than 20 percent of the Sierra Club membership are hunters. Link: http://www.sierraclub.org/huntingfishing/whoweare.asp
Watson, who has been a Sierra Club member since 1968, thinks the club is forgetting its role as a conservation organization. “This is John Muir’s Sierra Club,” he said, “It is not supposed to be the Sahara Club. You can’t love nature with a gun.”
Watson will not attend his final Board meeting in San Francisco on May 17-20. “I have no intention of attending a meeting of a hunting club,” said Watson. ”I wonder how many of the Sierra Club’s 750,000 members know and approve of killing animals with their contributions?”
Watson is also the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which wages worldwide campaigns against the slaughter of marine mammals and misuse of marine resources.
The Sierra Club policy on hunting as adopted by the Sierra Club Board of Directors in 1994 states, "Acceptable management approaches include both regulated periodic hunting and fishing when based on sufficient scientifically valid biological data and when consistent with all other management purposes and when necessary total protection of particular species or populations."
"Because national parks are set aside for the preservation of natural landscapes and wildlife, the Sierra Club is opposed to sport hunting in national parks."

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