Measure Two

I have never been the type to write what people would consider “political” editorials. Don’t get me wrong, I have very strong convictions, but I’ve always felt that everyone is entitled to their positions and my chance of changing anyone’s opinions was between slim and none.

I’m rethinking that now.

There is no way that I will be able to protect my children’s legacy if I do not take any given opportunity that I have to voice my thoughts and opinions. And so I begin…

The latest item that has come up that has me concerned is Measure 2 in North Dakota. At first, it appears innocent enough. The measure calls for banning what they deem as high-fence hunting…in essence, it’s a step in the direction of banning all fee hunting.

To me, it’s a very, very slippery slope. Don’t get me wrong, I do not participate in fee hunting. I do not participate in high-fence hunting. I, personally, do not see myself ever involved in either. But guess what? That’s my choice. Freedom of choice has always been an American principle.

Part of the measure that bothers me is the infringement on property rights. If I have bought and paid for the land to be hunted on and the animals to be hunted, why can’t I market them the way I choose? Where does the line get drawn?

Someone said to my husband that by banning high-fence hunting, we will appease the animal rights movement and they will leave the rest of hunting rights in North Dakota alone. Really? Ask Ohio how easy it is to appease the AR groups. How about California? In fact, please, please find me an example where giving in to any of the AR groups has been successful in easing their demands and creating a peaceful existence for all.

The other part of the measure that bothers me is the vagueness of the wording. When discussing “privately-owned big game,” I wonder if the sponsors of the measure realize what they are saying. If big game is privately owned, then it is no longer wildlife. It is now livestock. Can you see where I’m going with this?

If I’m reading the measure correctly, it basically states that hunting of privately-owned wildlife (livestock) in a man-made enclosure (fence) would be illegal. There are no specifics to the height of the fence, no specifics to the types of animal, no specifics whatsoever. So if we now pass a measure that makes the use of non-traditional livestock illegal on your OWN property, then how far is the step to make the use of cattle illegal? Is it a far stretch? Maybe. But not nearly far enough for my comfort.

This measure is a step in the wrong direction…and to top it off, immediately it’ll only effect 12 operations in North Dakota. Twelve! We are putting hunting as a whole at risk, we are putting animal agriculture at risk, just for the sake of putting 12 people out of business. Is the price worth it?

Not to me.