THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON OUTDOOR COUNCIL
Eighteen states have amended their state constitution to protect an individual’s right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife and an Oregon based pro-outdoor sports organization intends to try and make Oregon the nineteenth. The Oregon Outdoor Council (OOC) announced on Christmas day as “it’s gift to Oregon sportsmen and women” that it has began the process to have the issue on the 2016 Oregon ballot.
“Hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife are deeply embedded in Oregon’s heritage and culture. Together they are a major economic engine for Oregon by generating $929 million in spending and $99 million in local taxes. Additionally, it provides hundreds of thousands of Oregon families with healthy, sustainable, free-range protein every year. “Oregonians deserve the opportunity to decide if our way of life should be protected,” says Stan Steele, chairman of the board for the OOC.
Hunters and anglers have strong support locally and across the nation according to recent surveys. A 2006 national survey indicated that 78% support an individual’s right to harvest wildlife and a 2008 survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife indicated that a larger majority, 82%, support legal, regulated hunting. Dominic Aiello, president of the OOC says he expects we will see similar support here in Oregon.
Are hunter and angler lifestyles under attack and in need of protection from the state constitution? Dominic Aiello points to one current issue to support that their way of life is indeed under attack.
“There is certainly no shortage of examples which undeniably prove our lifestyle is under attack. However, most recently, groups from California and New York are pushing for a complete ban on traditional hunting ammunition and certain fishing tackle.” Dominic Aiello continues, “A recent survey by Southwick Associates indicated that if a ban on traditional hunting ammunition passed in Oregon it would reduce hunter participation by an astonishing 57%!”
If passed, the constitutional amendment wouldn’t change the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s or the Legislature’s ability to pass or regulate existing hunting, fishing, and harvest of wildlife laws.