Hunters and traditional environmentalists diverge in one key area -- the killing of furry creatures. But by forging such an alliance, environmentalists can sell 95 percent of their agenda to an important, influential bloc of voters otherwise turned off by both the Green movement and the Democratic Party in general.I've been thinking this for a lot time, even though I don't think I've written anything here about it.
Look at Ducks Unlimited and many similar hunting/fishing groups. They have a large hunting component, but spend a lot of time and money working for effective conservation.
As an ecologist, I know that hunting (animal predation) is a natural and necessary part of most ecosystems, and human hunting can fit into that framework. It has to be regulated by a hunter's good sense and ethics, and laws can play a role in promoting good practices.
In many cases, land management decisions and past hunting practices have eliminated top predators. Without that top down population regulation, the entire ecosystem gets unbalanced.
Liberals ought to support hunting in a regulated framework. It brings people out into nature. Once they're out there, they see how important clean air and water are, and they come to appreciate the science behind land management, and want more.
On a related note, someone had this interesting idea in a diary at DailyKos: Shooting Liberally. It'd be like Drinking Liberally only with guns and no alcohol.
I didn't grow up around guns, but I'd like to learn to shoot. Any other Lawrence area folks who have some firearms and want to get a group together to learn about guns, talk liberal politics, and have a good time together, let me know. Leave comments here and we'll try to put something together.