Vote Yes on Arkansas Issue 1
Constitutional right to hunt, fish, trap and harvest wildlife
That's Amendment 1's goal. by Doug Smith
Although the Humane Society of the United States is blamed, or credited, for Amendment 1 being on the Arkansas ballot, the HSUS seems coolly uninterested in the proposal. Asked if the HSUS would oppose the adoption of Amendment 1, an executive of the group, Andrew Page, said, "This is not an issue on which we are working. We view these efforts as inconsequential and merely window dressing for the hunting lobby."
Amendment 1, referred to the people by the legislature, would establish a constitutional right for Arkansans to hunt and fish. Sen. Steve Faris of Malvern, the lead sponsor of Amendment 1 (there are 42 others), said, "We need to assure that protections that previous generations have had are there for future generations. Nothing is a given anymore."
Faris said that animal-rights groups had succeeded in banning some types of hunting in some states. He mentioned the success of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in ending dove hunting in Michigan, but it was the HSUS, not PETA, that was involved there. A PETA spokeswoman said her group had done nothing to stop hunting in Michigan or anywhere else. "We don't lobby," she said. "We encourage our members to oppose or support things." PETA is not planning an anti-Amendment 1 campaign in Arkansas, she said, although "We think these kinds of amendments are silly. Why not a constitutional amendment to shop, or play golf?"
Although protection of hunting and fishing sounds like a no-brainer for the Arkansas legislature, it took three legislative sessions to get the measure on the ballot. In previous sessions, there were concerns that the amendment might weaken the state Game and Fish Commission, which has constitutional authority to regulate hunting and fishing, or that it might endanger property rights. This time, Faris said, "We worked with the Game and Fish Commission, and the NRA [National Rifle Association]. We have a document that doesn't violate property laws and strengthens the role of the Commission."
Full Story at Arkansas Reporter