As the President of the Washington Wildife Federation, a statewide coalition of hunters and anglers, I was disappointed to see some of our lawmakers misrepresenting the Wilderness Act.
For the record, hunting is allowed in wilderness areas. In fact, in 1978 the House Interior Committee felt it was appropriate “to offer its guidance as to how the Wilderness Act should now be interpreted as it relates to certain uses and activities … .” The committee first addressed hunting and fishing: Hunting and fishing are among the prime uses of many wilderness areas, and are permitted in all cases subject to applicable State and Federal laws and regulations (Wilderness Act, section 4(d)(8)), and such other reasonable restrictions as may be necessary under principles of sound land management.
The Washington Wildlife Federation was one of the first endorsers of Wild Sky Wilderness. As hunters, we know that wilderness provides some of the best hunting because it protects habitat and wildlife. It also results in more wildlife to remaining in the area rather than being pushed out by the proximity to motorized vehicles. Despite what some of our lawmakers will have you believe, guns are allowed in wilderness. I, along with other WWF members, have enjoyed hunting in many of our states best wilderness areas, including the proposed Wild Sky Wilderness.
While there were a number of inaccurate statements from opponents of the Wild Sky proposal, I was happy to see that Chairman Richard Pombo is willing to work with Congressman Rick Larsen to get something done.
John McGlenn, President
Washington Wildife Federation