BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — On Aug. 4, Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "re-tweeted" a "tweet" from Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States supporting the USFWS and Administration's position on management of refuges in Alaska (See screenshot of Twitter page).
In our opinion, the USFWS director should not be issuing commendations to HSUS, the nation's most ardent anti-hunting group and a group that has worked relentlessly to limit/end hunting, scientific wildlife management and legitimate and well accepted uses of animals and wildlife. Ashe's action is disrespectful to the millions of hunters and anglers who have been the most dedicated constituency and financial supporter of the USFWS.
What is most ironic about Ashe's public affirmation of HSUS is that HSUS has made common practice of suing the USFWS and the Department of Interior. Those legal actions have consistently derailed USFWS management authority, cost the agencies untold millions of dollars, consumed precious human capital and stolen resources better spent on conservation of habitat and species. HSUS has not been a stakeholder in USFWS work. HSUS has committed no money, no time, nor advocacy to supporting the USFWS's conservation mission and mandate.
It should be noted that Delta Waterfowl has consistently celebrated and supported USFWS work on behalf of ducks and duck hunters. The USFWS has an irreplaceable role in managing migratory bird populations, refuges and habitat that are essential for our mission and our constituents of duck hunters. Delta has consistently advocated that the USFWS have the resources it needs to do this critically important work. And we also acknowledge that Director Ashe and the USFWS today have a much more difficult task of doing their jobs and balancing the desires of a broad spectrum of interest groups that represent a diverse cross sections of the American public.
Yet Director Ashe crossed the line when he offered a public ringing endorsement of HSUS, an organization that is constantly standing in direct opposition to American hunters, anglers and conservationists. It is contrary to the USFWS partnership with conservation and hunting organizations, state wildlife agencies, farmers and ranchers — all of whom are critical stakeholders in USFWS work and all of whom are targets of HSUS advocacy, lawsuits, ballot initiatives and other actions. His commendation is wrong, and we ask Director Ashe and the USFWS to retract the statement and be honest with the public about HSUS's interests, which are wholly in conflict with conservation, management and legitimate animal use.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the tradition of duck hunting in North America. Visit www.deltawaterfowl.org.