We Swamped ‘Em! Anti-Hunters Outnumbered At National Wildlife Refuge Meeting

Record turnout for refuges planning meeting, but battle not over yet! Rematch set for May 9.

GON Staff | April 1, 1991

They came from all over Georgia—Calhoun, Bremen, Griffin, Carollton, Gainesville, Toccoa, Macon, Warner Robins—hundreds of hunters taking time to come to a meeting in Atlanta, concerned about what might be happening to the opportunity to hunt, trap and fish on federal refuges.

The Federal Refuges Planning Team came to Atlanta March 11 for a “workshop” on how federal refuges should be managed. They reserved a meeting room that would hold 100 people. What they got was the largest crowd that has ever turned out for a refuge meetings—more than 300 people. According to Tom Follrath in the Washington D.C. headquarters of the Refuges Planning Team, the highest turnout for any meeting held to date was 147 people—in Newburyport, Mass. Fewer than 50 people bothered to show up in Orlando, Baton Rouge or Albuquerque. Congratulations Georgia!

A Fund For Animals mailing called “The Sport of Cowards” reportedly stirred its membership to turn out to stop sport hunting. When a straw vote was taken at the meeting, only 10 people “voted” to end hunting on refuges.

Planning Team, unprepared for the overwhelming crowd, punted. The meeting was rescheduled for May 9 at 7 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the Atlanta Airport Hilton, a room that will accommodate 570 people. This time the Planning Team will likely be able to run their program, and they will accept comments from the public.

We need you to come to the support of sport hunting again. If you were at the Lanier Plaza, we need you to come back and bring two friends. If you missed the first meeting, you missed an incredible show of support for sport hunting. The Refuge Planning Team has taken note. So have the organizations that would stop hunting, and you can expect a stronger showing by the antis next month.

More than a hundred workbooks on management of the refuges were distributed at the meeting. Rather than just maintaining hunting as is, sportsmen now have a chance to support management options that would increase hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities on refuges. More workbooks will be passed out at the May meeting, and it’s important to fill them out and mail them back to the planning team.

In the May issue, we will run a “sample” worksheet indicating the options and suggestions we think best serve responsible management of the refuge system and protect sportsmen’s interests. Then we’ll look for you at the Atlanta Airport Hilton on May 9.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.