Utah hunters received good news on Tuesday as voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that provides protection to those who want to hunt and fish.
Thanks to Constitutional Amendment E, it will now be written in Utah’s constitution that state residents have a “constitutional right to hunt and fish in Utah,” according to Ballotpedia.org.
About 74 percent of Utah voters favored the amendment, according to The Associated Press.
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From Fox 13:
“Despite its passing, Amendment E does not make the right to hunt and fish absolute as state laws and policies would still prohibit, for example, a convicted poacher from getting a hunting license.
Utah joins 22 other states that currently give residents a constitutional right to hunt and fish.”
“This bill is not only about protecting who we are, but preserving who we are going forward,” said House sponsor Rep. Casey Snider, according to Ballotpedia.org. “It is not unforeseeable, and history bears this out, that 30 or 40 or 50 years from now, those participating in [hunting and fishing] will be a very significant minority, more so than they already are. It is not a foregone conclusion that these sort of activities will be eliminated from the public sphere and from conservation generally and at large.”
Opponents of the amendment, such as Kirk Robinson of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, told the Salt Lake Tribune that it could have the opposite effect on the science of conservation.
“Killing the predators of deer and elk — namely bears, wolves and cougars — would be counterproductive,” Robinson said. “Populations of wolves and cougars, in particular, unlike deer and elk populations, are self-limiting and don’t need to be “controlled” by hunters. And if we allow them to, these native predators will take care of business just as they did for thousands of years before human interference. They’re on the job 24-7 year-round (except bears when in hibernation) and are unexcelled at identifying sick and weakened animals that are the least risky to take. And not to be overlooked: Their services are free. They are nature’s immune system. Weakening this system, as a straightforward reading of Amendment E prescribes, can’t possibly help.”