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Continued: Anderson: Shutdown means Regular Guy can't access federal land

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 4, 2013 - 12:20 AM

Nor do they care that Minnesota’s pheasant opener is in a week or so, and that without access to state WPAs, entire legions of hunters might as well stay home.

Members of Congress know this, and more.

They know, for example, that Regular Guys aren’t as powerful or as rich as ADM, Cargill, Monsanto or the other Big Ag players that actually control what occurs on the nation’s farmlands.

Regular Guys, after all, can’t even afford to own hunting land. Nor do they have money enough to lease a wetland or the grasslands surrounding it.

Instead, they’re largely dependent for places to hunt on the nation’s hundreds of thousands of acres of WPAs — for which they gladly pony up $15 each fall for a federal waterfowl stamp, knowing 98 cents of every dollar is used to buy wildlife lands.

Their hope, ultimately, is that conditions for wildlife, and therefore conditions for people, including Regular Guy hunters, will improve.

Their hope also is that someday Congress — and society in general — will get the message about the importance of land and water conservation.

Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.

Aldo Leopold said that.

In 1949.

And Regular Guy hunters will experience it anew when they again hunt lands they paid for with their own hard-earned money.

 

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com

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