Badge of Honor: NRA brands WWA an “Extremist Group”

WWA STAFF | JULY 24, 2017

In an recent article, the National Rifle Association branded Wyoming Wildlife Advocates an “extremist group.”

The article in the NRA’s American Hunter publication was in response to billboards that WWA put up on the approaches to Yellowstone National Park stating: “Wanna see bears? SAY NO TO TROPHY HUNTING!”

According to the article, “The sign stands as a grizzly-sized testament to the anti-hunting crowd’s ignorance on the matter of wildlife management.”

“What it really shows is the group has chosen to disregard the successes of grizzly management via the North American model of wildlife conservation (NAMWC).”

These claims are disingenuous and, frankly, ridiculous.

First, WWA is not against hunting for food, we are against hunting for trophies.

Trophy hunting corrupts the very concept of hunting, as it is about ego not sustenance. It is surplus killing for fun and self aggrandizement. The idea of killing a wild animal to put its head on a wall is abhorrent to us.

On the other hand, almost everyone associated with WWA has ethically-killed elk meat in their freezer. Several of us are hunters. We accept that if you are going to eat meat, hunting your own meat is preferable to purchasing meat from factory farm agri-business on moral, economic, and environmental grounds.

Second, the recovery of grizzly bears has nothing to do with the NAMWC. Zero. Zip. Nada. Conflating grizzly recovery with the NAMWC is the epitome of fact-free propaganda.

If anything, the hunting-centric NAMWC was a contributor to the declining population that put grizzlies on the Endangered Species List forty-some years ago.

Any success in recovering grizzly bears (and we’re not quite prepared to call it a “success” just yet) can be attributed to environmental legislation that the NRA currently seeks to abolish, such as the ESA, NEPA, the Wilderness Act, etc., and the federal agencies that administer these laws.

One key thing these laws do is take hunting and the dubious NAMWC totally out of the equation when it comes to recovering endangered or threatened species, such as grizzlies.

In other words, grizzly recovery, such as it is, has been accomplished in large part due to the absence of the NAMWC’s influence rather than because of it. To claim otherwise has no basis in reality.

The NRA has fought these valuable and popular environmental laws tooth and nail for decades, and continues to erode wildlife protections in every way they can.

All this highlights the fact that WWA and the conservation community are up against the biggest of the big money players. For every dollar WWA spends protecting wildlife, the NRA spends $2,000 lobbying congress, advertising to the public, and generally seeking to remove wildlife protections and otherwise fund their anti-life, anti-wildlife agenda.

With the Endangered Species Act and other groundbreaking environmental legislation under unprecedented siege from those who, like the NRA, do not value wildlife and nature like we do, the urgency of this moment can’t be overstated.

We hate fundraising as much as you hate being asked for funds, but when the NRA brands a modest non-profit like WWA as “extremist”, you can be sure we are doing something right!

So please take a moment to click the “donate” button near the top of this Facebook page. Every bit helps. If $10 is all you can spare, well, that is $10 we didn’t have before, and we will put it to good use defending wildlife and habitat from those who seek to abolish America’s long legacy of public lands and wildlife for all.

For wildlife and the wild,
The WWA board and staff