It’s no mistake when a group name evokes the memory of the Wilderness Warrior, former President, Theodore Roosevelt. His efforts led to some of the boldest conservation actions in the late 19th and early 20th century. In recent years I’ve come to realize the remarkable job that Roosevelt and those he worked with did in protecting headwaters areas from development and ruin. As the bumper sticker on the Coyote Gulch Jeep says, “Sportsmen were the original conservationists.”
So say hello to the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance. They believe that our representatives in Washington, D.C. should pay a price at the polls if they vote against conservation issues. To that end they’ve funded a billboard in Colorado Springs blasting Doug Lamborn for his vote to zero out the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. What fun. One can only hope that Lamborn and his staffers see the billboard enough times to get the message.
Here’s a look at the Alliance from Chuck Plunkett writing for The Denver Post. Click through to read the whole article and see an image of the advertisement. Here’s an excerpt:
From the Bull Moose presser:
During the U.S. House of Representatives debate of the FY 2012 Interior funding bill, Congressman Lamborn sponsored and introduced an amendment to H.R. 2584 with the stated purpose of zeroing out any Land and Water Conservation Fund monies available to the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Forest Service to protect wildlife habitat and clean water.
In a time where lack of access to quality hunting and fishing opportunities is a reason for declining participation, Rep. Lamborn has proven his willingness to further degrade a unique American legacy of wildlife management and conservation prized by hunters and anglers throughout the nation. According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, nearly half of the nation’s 32 million hunters and anglers conduct a portion of their hunting activity on public lands.
The Land and Water Conservation fund has provided funding for projects and conservation efforts in Congressman Lamborn’s district including the Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge and Ramah Reservoir.
Lamborn’s office counters that the sportsmen are overstating the point, and that current levels of access to federal lands in Colorado won’t be affected.
Meanwhile, Ben Noreen lists some of the congressman’s political miscalculations this year in The Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:
The Bull Moose outfit, named in honor of former President Teddy Roosevelt’s last political hurrah, registered its disappointment with a billboard, which bashes Lamborn near the intersection of Platte Avenue and Chelton Road, across the street from Sportsmen’s Warehouse, the outdoor recreation retailer.
“Surprised?” the billboard asks. “Congressman Lamborn voted to gut the Land and Water Conservation Fund, limiting access to hunting and fishing in Colorado.”
The GOP-controlled House reduced the fund drastically, to $62 million. Lamborn’s suggested number: zero.
“I was shocked when I saw the amendment,” said Gaspar Perricone, a Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance spokesman. “It’s contrary to the hunting and fishing community.”
The Bull Moose people meet the definition of a special interest group, but the organization is not anti-Republican. A billboard is going up in Grand Junction, too — to praise GOP Rep. Scott Tipton, who has been supportive of the alliance’s interests.
Pam Zubeck has posted Lamborn’s response on the Colorado Springs Independent blog:
“The billboard has it all wrong.
“We are drowning in debt, and we have to draw the line somewhere. The federal government already owns more than a third of all land in Colorado. The people of Colorado enjoy tremendous opportunities to hunt and fish. Our priority must be on protecting and preserving the lands we already have.
“At a time when Washington is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, there is simply no money for buying new land. My common sense amendment would have saved taxpayers about $51 million.” — Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
More conservation coverage here.