To save public lands, liberal hikers and conservative hunters unite

Once upon a time, it was common to hunt, fish and be a member of the Sierra Club

By Zach Urness, Statesman Journal

Once upon a time, it was common to hunt, fish and be a member of the Sierra Club.

Today the bond between the conservation community and sportsman often feels splintered, the coalition of hikers, hunters and anglers fragmented by wedge issues and the urban-rural divide.

But there remains one issue capable of uniting those who shop at REI and Cabelas: a love for public lands.

The outdoor recreation community united last week to oppose legislation that proposed selling 3.3 million acres of federal public lands across the West, including 70,000 acres in Oregon.

Lawmaker withdraws bill to sell 70,000 acres of Oregon public land
Right-leaning hunting groups and left-leaning environmental groups came together in mutual loathing for a bill many viewed as the opening salvo in an effort to dismantle the nation’s public lands system.

The backlash was so strong that the bill’s author, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, took a picture with his hound dog while wearing camo to announce the legislation’s death.

“I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands,” he stressed in a post published on the social media website Instagram. “I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow.”

The speed with which Chaffetz reversed course — and his apparent need to emphasize his hunting bonafides — was a reminder of just how potent the outdoors community can become when they actually agree on something.

“When they get going in the same direction, it’s an incredibly powerful group,”

Source: To save public lands, liberal hikers and conservative hunters unite

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