The Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (AZSFWC) and the 42 Member and Affiliate groups, need responses to the following from prospective candidates for the U.S. Congress or Senate:
1. Today’s legal and legislative climate is fraught with restrictions and limitations that include special land designations that tend to keep people off the land instead of allowing them access to it. This is particularly problematic in Arizona, because these are the lands where most sportsmen and women recreate, primarily hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, shooting, and boating. What is your vision on and for public lands in Arizona?
2. Partisan bickering in Congress over the last couple decades has had negative consequences on legislation and funding when it comes to conservation, wildlife and sportsmen’s issues. If you’re elected to the Senate, what can you do to work across the aisle and move this type of legislation forward, past some of the onerous Senate rules and barriers to modernize and fund these critical matters?
3. Arizona is blessed with some of the Nation’s most spectacular landscapes and places. The Grand Canyon National Park is one of those places, but it is also at the forefront of a serious problem with habitat and resource degradation because the House Rock bison herd. These bison are owned by the State of Arizona, but have found refuge on the Park. Sport hunting and harvest has been an effective wildlife management tool in other National Parks and Monuments, from the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and most of Arizona’s National Monuments as examples. The National Park Service has balked at using the Grand Teton model here and instead seems to want to simply use taxpayer dollars instead of sportsmen and women’s hunting and tag fees to resolve the bison problem. What is your position on managed and controlled hunting in the Park?
4. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was noble in its creation, and in some cases still is in its application. However it has become a fundraising tool for enviro-litigants, geared not to recovery or delisting of species, but seemingly used as a means to perpetuate a revenue stream using a penalty based enforcement mechanism. At the same time it is tying up taxpayer dollars by handcuffing the efforts of State and Federal agencies involved with it. What is your vision on updating and reassessing the application of the ESA and transforming it into an incentive based effort that is more efficient and cost effective?
5. States have the statutory responsibility to manage all wildlife within their borders, but there is a move afoot to change that concept by some. What is your position on the State’s right to manage wildlife?