The moment, critics say, represents everything that’s wrong with the way Utah sets its wildlife management policy.
Byron Bateman, president of the powerful lobbying group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, had just finished speaking before the Utah Wildlife Board as it pondered the state’s most dramatic changes to its deer-hunting laws in two decades. Bateman then walked up to Jim Karpowitz, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and handed him a check for $391,000.
Later that day, the board passed the sweeping overhaul, regulations that were largely crafted and promoted by Bateman’s SFW. The changes, which go into effect in 2012, will reduce the number of deer-hunting permits by at least 13,000 annually and dramatically increase the cost of a general-season hunting tag in Utah...
The Utah Wildlife Cooperative’s Hansen has a different take, saying the new regulations risk discouraging existing hunters and make it difficult for youth to get involved in the sport.
“There isn’t one anti-hunting group out there that could come up with a way to eliminate 13,000 permits like SFW just did,” Hansen said.
The whole article is worth a read.