Focus Point - Wildlife ConservationCommentary by Pete du Pont
November 15, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. These crisp mornings we're having makes it feel like hunting season. Hunting season reminds me that without hunters, we wouldn't have much in the way of conservation.
As early as 18-46, prominent Rhode Island sportsmen lobbied to pass that state's first water fowl regulations. Soon after, game preserves incorporated in Pennsylvania, the Adirondack Mountains of New York and in Iowa. The Boone and Crockett Club was formed in 18-87...the National Rifle Association in 18-71 and the Izaak Walton League in 19-22...all started by hunters. Then there was Theodore Roosevelt...former president and big-game hunter...who often gets credit as the initial force behind American wildlife conservation.
Even today, sales of hunting licenses, tags, stamps and permits generate billions of dollars that go directly to wildlife management.
In countries where hunting is the main source of income, it provides native peoples and private land-owners with the incentive to preserve wildlife. Under the care of American hunters, for example, not one single species is threatened with extinction.
Those are my ideas, and at the N-C-P-A we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time...what women can do to close the wage gap.