October 1, 2022

Do We Have Our Priorities Messed Up?

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Although there are individuals and animal rights and anti-hunting groups that would disagree, hunters comprise one of the largest, if not the largest, conservation groups in this country. We enjoy what we do and work very closely with fish and game experts to protect and manage our wildlife. The question is, when is it going too far?

We have to have a certain amount of common sense when it comes to dealing with animals. The vast majority of humans have an overwhelming respect for animals both wild and domestic. The differences lie in to what extremes some will go to protect the animals.

This morning I was reading a short news item coming out of California about the opening of another “wildlife tunnel” under a very busy highway. This tunnel cost $1.2 million and is only one of 45 such tunnels scattered throughout the state. At that estimated cost, this totals to well over $45 million dollars. In a state that seems to be never able to find the bottom of the barrel when it comes to balancing a budget, certainly $45 million extra dollars could go a long way.

Maybe it is simply a way for the guilty to feel better about the fact that they keep building bigger and better homes further and further into the habitat of the animals.

I’m for protecting all wildlife but is this taking it a little too far? Evidently not.

But if that doesn’t stir up some debate perhaps this will, if you think that securing our nation is more important than protecting our animals.

Animal rights groups and in particular, Defenders of Wildlife, based in Arizona are opposed to erecting a wall to secure our borders because it would disrupt some of the migration of certain species of animals that move back and forth across the border.

The Brownsville Herald has a story.

The House version would build a fence straight through Brownsville, through farmland, back yards, public parks and wildlife refuges, all the way to Laredo. The Senate bill wouldn’t be too different.

Sealing the border with fences may have unintended consequences for the environment, said Jenny Neely of Defenders of Wildlife, a group in Arizona that has been monitoring the damage done to wildlife there.

In Brownsville, the Sabal Palms Audubon Center and Sanctuary could potentially be hit hard by the fences and all-weather access road to be built no more than 50 yards from the border, as proposed by the House measure.

Trash can be picked up, Neely said, but fences can destroy animal species that migrate as a way of life.

I certainly understand the concerns that Neely has about the affect of a wall but don’t some things in life require certain sacrifices? She admits that highways have a huge affect on wildlife. Perhaps if she sold her car and stopped driving, we wouldn’t need so many roads. Or what about the home she lives in? I’m sure that has encroached on wildlife, as has millions more across the country, having a far greater affect on our animals than a wall that is going to continue to give us protection so she can “defend” her wildlife with freedom.

But most of all I am just laughing about this comment with seemingly no thought about protecting our homeland.

“It’s going to impact the ability of people to bird watch down there,” Neely said of Brownsville

The extreme positions that some people take on issues is always puzzling. For me, I think I am a bit more concerned about whether I will be able to freely go about bird watching than whether a wall along the border between Mexico and the United States is going to affect wildlife.

Tom Remington