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Wildlife manager’s wrong

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It is unfortunate that John Kimball, retiring director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, chose to portray non-consumptive users of wildlife as anti-hunters who lack an agenda and reap the benefits of the state's native animal populations without paying the bills (Deseret News, Jan. 1). These remarks reflect a mentality toward wildlife that is economically rather than ethically based.

Using an ethical approach, animals have a biological right to exist regardless of the presence or absence of an economic advantage to humans. It holds that all animals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Such an ethic does not oppose the alteration, management or use of wildlife resources and is not necessarily anti-hunter. The ethical approach to wildlife forms a basic agenda for non-consumptive users of wildlife, but it also represents the philosophy of many hunters as well.

Kimball does a disservice to both the wildlife and people of Utah by suggesting the loudest voice in wildlife management should be the sportsmen who pay the bill. DWR statistics show 172,00 certified hunters in the year 2000, less than 10 percent of Utah's population.

Using an economic argument Kimball is defending the current situation where a small special interest group dominates decisions regarding Utah's wildlife — a resource that belongs to all the people of the state.

When Bob Morgan recommends a new DWR director, I hope he recognizes the problems with this economic argument and chooses a candidate who employs an ethical approach to wildlife management, thus reflecting the view of the majority of Utahns, hunters and non-hunters alike.

Sharon Emerson

Park City