Oregon Initiative Petition 13 proposes to criminalize hunting
Oregon may face the end of hunting, fishing and trapping. The Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act (the “Act”) is currently a ballot effort that has until July 2022 to collect 112,000 signatures in order to make the November 2022 ballot. If passed, this initiative would end not only consumptive outdoor recreation as we know it, but also severely defund wildlife management agencies. With the majority of funding for wildlife conservation coming from license sales and excess taxes, the absence of these activities could spell the end of effective wildlife management.
Note: if you read the document linked above and notice the last page under Section 7, all of the information presented that is in italics will be removed if this passes. So those items would no longer be legal in the state of Oregon. This is the direct quote from their website, "What does the italicized and bolded text in IP13 mean? We appreciate the need for clarity when it comes to understanding our initiative. Any text that is italicized is text that would be removed from state statute if IP13 were to pass. Any text that is bolded is text that would be added to state statute if IP13 were to pass." That should be very alarming as the part about hunting, fishing and trapping are in italics!
Along with the possible end to hunting and fishing, this ballot effort also takes on the majority of common ranching practices, animal husbandry and the slaughter of animals for food. Not only is this initiative going to have the opposite effect of what it intends, but it will also cause extreme economic hardship for rural communities that rely upon the hunting, fishing and recreational tourism as well as ranching industries. These industries bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
The Act is an initiative that is driven by blind, irrational emotions. Initiatives like this one must be quickly and definitively squashed with science based facts. The natural world is a cruel and unforgiving place. Perhaps the authors of this illogical initiative would not be so quick to act if they spent a little more time in the woods and stewarding the land rather than dreaming of an anthropomorphized false reality.
goHUNT will continue to report upon the situation as it develops. Stay tuned.