Thursday, 27 March 2008 00:00

Gibbons Should Choose As He Sees Fit

Written by Ira Hansen
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Reprinted from The Sparks Tribune

Some sportsmen’s groups are attacking Gov. Jim Gibbons, claiming “unease” for him being a “conservative western Republican” while serving in the U.S. Congress.

 

Not surprisingly, some of these same, who, by the way, DO NOT poll their membership before making such outlandish comments, were big fans of liberals such as Kenny Guinn and Harry Reid.

 

I know that for a fact, since I am a lifetime member of one of the most prominent critics, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU). Much to my embarrassment, one so-called spokesman for NBU, Larry Johnson, even went so far as to claim “Harry Reid saved hunting in Nevada,” a statement Reid quite wisely used in a campaign mailer targeted to fishing and hunting license holders throughout the state.

 

Reid saved hunting? What a joke. Without belaboring the point, a handful of anti-Gibbons types are being quoted as supposedly representing the views of certain organizations but in fact are simply expressing their own distorted views.

 

So  the current attack, well documented in a large article by Associated Press writer Sandra Chereb in last Sunday’s Sparks Tribune, is an attempt to keep Gibbons from properly exercising his prerogative and replace members of the Nevada State Wildlife Commission with his own choices. They want Gibbons’ enemy and former Gov. Kenny Guinn’s appointed commissioners reappointed.

 

Apparently, they believe Gibbons is too stupid to make wise choices. Not surprisingly, both of those they want reappointed are former board members of NBU. I am not sying the two commissioners in question are not good men; in fact, I respect both of them and have high regard especially for Jim Jeffress, whose opinions I deeply value. I am saying that Gibbons is fully capable of selecting others equally qualified without needing to pander to the elitist NBU mentality.

 

Another group criticizing Gibbons and supposedly representing sportsmen is the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife. As a founding member of this coalition, I know a great deal about its makeup.

 

Originally, many sportsmen’s groups started with this coalition, formed at a meeting in Winnemucca in 1993. I was at that original meeting and was an active participant on the board for about three years thereafter. However, since NBU was and remains today the primary source of its funds, it gradually eroded away from representing many divergent views to instead being simply a front for NBU. In fact, when we held the original elections for officers, that point was made very clear, and NBU board member Larry Johnson was selected as president. Now, about 14 years later, surprise, surprise – that same Larry Johnson remains president. The idea of a “coalition” is a joke. Divergent views are, in fact, not welcomed.

 

The current complaints about Gibbons really boil down to an elitist view of how wildlife in Nevada should be managed. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has the management responsibility, and frankly, has been for years spending disproportionate time and efforts on programs catering to groups like NBU at the cost of the rank-and-file sportsman.

 

For example, Nevada has less than 200 bighorn sheep tags available yearly so only a tiny share of Nevada sportsmen has a chance at getting such a tag. By comparison, up to 30,000 to 50,000 deer tags are available in a good year. Despite these huge differences, NDOW focuses a grossly disproportionate amount of time, dollars and effort on the bighorn sheep, and the influence of groups like NBU is one of the reasons why.

 

Gibbons was elected with the support of smaller sportsmen’s groups on the promise to bring balance back to the wildlife equation. For the good of all sportsmen, not a handful of the rich and powerful, he should honor his campaign pledges and restructure the commission as he sees fit.

 

Ira Hansen is a lifelong resident of Sparks, owner of Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing and his radio talk show can be heard Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. on 99.1 FM.
Last modified on Sunday, 18 April 2010 10:26
Login to post comments

Search Articles

Login Form



Donate to the Website

donate_without_paypal_account
Look for this section on the paypal donation page to donate even without a paypal account.  Just click on continue where it says "Don't have a PayPal account?"

Donations help to pay for web hosting and management of Hunters Alert! keeping this content online and up to date.

*All donations are annonymous unless you would like to be announced as a donor.

Copyright © 2017 Hunters Alert! - Keeping the sportsman informed.. All Rights Reserved.
Site developed and kept in honor by a digital media professional.