What does expanding hunting opportunities in the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana have to do with hunting opportunities in wildlife refuges in New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania or California? Beats me but that’s what a judge has ruled in a lawsuit filed against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The lawsuit filed by Fund for Animals, a division of the Humane Society of the United States, claims the USFWS violated the National Environmental Policy Act because they didn’t adequately study the cumulative national impact on wildlife and other refuge visitors besides hunters. In other words, the USFWS can’t expand hunting opportunities in the Upper Ouachita or any other refuge because it might affect a mockingbird singing in a forest someplace in Florida or Betty Birdwatcher in North Dakota.
The timing of the lawsuit is nothing more than a tactic by the Fund for Animals and HSUS to prevent hunting this year in this wildlife refuge and two others in Louisiana. It is both these organization’s goals to end hunting everywhere, even though in this particular lawsuit they say differently.
“The decision isn’t about hunting versus no hunting. It’s about whether you’re looking at the environmental impact of hunting,” Lovvorn said. “I think we have concerns about hunting on refuges because of the lack of environmental review.”
Oh, okay! And if any of you believe this, I have a bridge for sale in New York – cheap!
Unfortunately for those hunters hoping to be able to find some more hunting opportunities in Louisiana, it appears this lawsuit will tie things up for this season. The USFWS plans to satisfy the courts so as to provide hunting in these areas. The USFWS fully understands that hunting is a valuable and integral part of wildlife management and they intend to use it.