Here are excerpts from the letter that Ron received in
response to his letter to Mohonk condemning their hunting program as being
unscientific. (If you don’t recall Ron’s article in the last issue of the
Courier, please go to:
. You can go to our website, click on “Courier” and then click on the
newsletter prior to this one.)
Dear Mr. Baker:
Thank you for your letter expressing concern about the
Mohonk Preserve’s deer hunting program…..
The Mohonk Preserve has a deep regard for nature, and we
base all of our management decisions on this deep regard. Part of our
process is to constantly increase our understanding of the ecosystem of the
Shawangunks. Our limited and controlled hunting program helps us to manage
the impact of Whitetail deer on this ecosystem. The Shawangunk Ridge
Biodiversity Partnership has identified the Whitetail deer as a major threat
to biodiversity on the ridge. Results from our ongoing browse studies should
allow us to more directly determine the specific impact of deer on other
species here…..[Editor’s note: Ron has already done that. There are none.]
Our rangers patrol extensively to ensure the safety of
visitors and hunters….[They have a handful of rangers and thousands of acres
of land.] Our safety record regarding hunting is unblemished. There are no
recorded hunting accidents….[The word “recorded” is the key word here.
C.A.S.H. had a report that a dog was shot and killed by a hunter at Mohonk.]
We look to all Preserve visitors for their understanding
of the legitimate role of hunting within our mission.
Glenn Hoagland, Executive Director
While they suggest that Ron go to
, it can take 30 minutes to find the particular link of interest.
Most people who go to that link will be uninformed about Mohonk’s hunting
policy. Here is the more direct link:
usual cast of characters is mentioned as comprising the committee to
determine how deer management should operate: Fawn Tantillo, the bow hunter,
former gunshop owner, and, until recently, Ulster County legislator; and
Dick Henry, the former “big game biologist” with the DEC.
Contact Mohonk to express your disgust with their sport
hunting program for profit and not ecological need.
Some of the writing points are:
A dog was shot and killed on Mohonk property whether they
have recorded it or not. C.A.S.H. has the specifics.
Deer do not overpopulate in dense forest which is the case
at the Preserve .
One deer per 10 acres is not an overpopulation by any
stretch of the imagination.
A naturalist who examined their experimental station
observed that the deer do not pose a threat to precious biodiversity.
They are charging hunters to hunt at the Preserve, hunting
is merely another business for them.
They are risking the lives of other users of the preserve
who are also charged a fee.
Refer them to the hunting accidents that have occurred in
general, the C.A.S.H. website is growing into an excellent source of
accidents and violations.
C.A.S.H. is grateful to Ira Brant for his courageous
letters to the editor in the local paper which alerted us to Mohonk’s
hunting policies. After two meetings with the board, demonstrations, and
hundreds of petition names presented to them, Mohonk has dug their heels
deeper into the muck due to close ties with the game agency and, on the part
of some board members, natural inclination.
We are not dealing with objective “stewards.” One of the
Smileys, founding family of the Mohonk Preserve and House, provided an
affidavit to support opening up Harriman State Park to hunting in the
1980’s. Fortunately, that was a battle that C.A.S.H., under Luke Dommer,
fought hard to win, and C.A.S.H prevailed in that instance.
PUT THE FOLLOWING IN LARGE LETTERS
What is needed is a far reaching change that will sever
the ties of wildlife management to the weapons manufacturers. This sweeping,
yet simple solution can and should be the major goal of those who oppose
sport hunting. If you would like to work in your state on this, please
contact [email protected]
. We look forward to hearing from you.