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Diedri Young, Shakopee
DNR AND HUNTING
Public land use, by the numbers
More than 99% (12 million acres) of Minnesota’s public lands is already open to hunting and trapping. Yet, apparently, that isn’t enough. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), kowtowing to special interests, now wants to open the last vestiges of public land, Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs), to hunting and trapping (“DNR weighs opening more rare natural sites to hunters,” June 23).
More Minnesotans watch wildlife, by a ratio of almost 4 to 1, than hunt. Wildlife watchers contribute $50 million more to the state’s economy than hunters, providing almost 13,000 jobs and adding $90 million to the state’s coffers. The DNR receives approximately 75 percent of its funding from the general fund, Legacy dollars and the federal government — that is, from taxpayers. Wildlife watchers comprise 41 percent of Minnesota’s population and hunters 11 percent, yet this minority segment and its lobbyists — such as the 15,000-member (0.3 percent of the population) Minnesota Deer Hunters Association — are demanding more public resources.
First, it was killing mourning doves, a symbol of peace, then graceful and majestic sandhill cranes and then the wolf, an iconic species brought back from the brink of extinction with millions of taxpayer dollars. Now, hunters, trappers and the DNR feel they must exploit one of wildlife’s last refuges and the majority of Minnesotans’ last places of solitude in duplicitous and undemocratic land grabs.
Catherine Zimmer, St. Paul
Actually, Romney is self-made man
The Star Tribune let it “slip” with Norman Holen’s comments (Readers Write, June 25). It takes very little research to find that Mitt Romney’s fortune was amassed by his hard work, grace and determination. He worked his butt off to get where he is, and he donated all of his inherited money to the church. Imagine if the left was this generous with their own money. Imagine if the Clintons had had a real job.
Greg Kemper, Hudson, Wis.
• • •
A letter writer wrote that “the only difference between Clinton and Romney is new money as opposed to old money” (Readers Write, June 25). That’s actually a huge difference, because in the case of new money, the Clintons have convinced me they remember whence they came through their words and actions.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney, with his garage elevators for his cars and his comments about the 47 percent of Americans who “will vote for [Obama] no matter what” because they’re poor and uneducated, has clearly shown that he, too, has not forgotten whence he came.
Kevin Driscoll, St. Paul
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.