NATIONAL WILDLIFE ECOLOGY DAY
Luke Dommer, founder of The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting, wrote
and presented the following on the grounds of the NYS Department of
Environmental Conservation, New Paltz, September 28, 1991.
National Wildlife Ecology Day celebrates the diversity of species on
earth and the ecosystems supporting their existence.
Today, September 28, 1991 marks the birth of this day, which will,
from now on, fall annually on the fourth Saturday of September to oppose
National Hunting and Fishing Day.
On that day, demonstrations against state and federal wildlife
agencies will be organized nationally to publicly challenge ecologically
unsound management policies supporting recreational hunting.
National Wildlife Ecology Day is dedicated to: (A) The preservation
of biological diversity, genetic integrity, and the ecology of wildlife.
(B) The establishment of democratic representation on councils of
wildlife management for the protection of our wildlife heritage. (C)
Public safety relating to sport hunting activities.
THE TEN PRINCIPLES
Article I. Whereas, scientists predict a catastrophe for mankind
because of an escalating loss of plant and animal species, we propose
that all public lands, national and state refuges, forests and parks be
managed as ecological reserves with no sport hunting or management of
species or habitat for that purpose allowed. This is to preserve the
broadest degree of biological diversity (maximum number of species
Article II. Whereas, the Supreme Court of the U.S. declared “Wildlife
is a national treasure held in trust for all citizens,” we propose that
hunter-control of wildlife agencies be replaced by democratic
representation for 93% of the non-hunting public on councils for
Article III. Whereas, national wildlife refuges were established as
inviolate sanctuaries, where wildlife could exist in a natural state and
where no sport hunting was to be allowed, we propose that all hunting
and trapping, and other exploitation of these refuges be abolished.
Article IV. Whereas, deer currently manage on a “maximum sustained
yield principle” to produce “optimum populations” of deer for hunters is
ecologically unsound; and this “optimum” yield increases crop damage,
deer-car collisions, lyme disease, and starvation of deer, we propose
that the normal at birth sex-ratio of 1 to 1 be restored. This will
reduce the deer birth-rate so they may stabilize at lower populations
compatible with their habitat and other wildlife species.
Article V. Whereas, property owners are required to post their land
against hunting at their own expense, and this effort is often nullified
by hunters removing posters, we propose that posting laws be changed so
that only land posted as hunting zones by wildlife agencies can be
hunted. This would shift the burden of posting to the hunters – where it
Article IV. Whereas, hunting is currently allowed at five hundred
feet from a dwelling, and those “safety” zones are inadequate protection
for home owners, we propose that safety zones be increased to 1,000 feet
from property lines.
Article VII. Whereas, wildlife agencies put millions of hunters into
the field, while acknowledging a shortage of game wardens to adequately
police them, we propose that hunters be required to carry at least one
million dollars in liability insurance in order to guarantee that
hunting victims and their families may seek just compensation in the
courts for property damage, injury or death resulting from sport hunting
Article VIII. Whereas, millions of hunters who are visually impaired
go into the fields with lethal weapons, contributing to an annual toll
of 2,400 people injured and 400 killed in hunting accidents (as
estimated by the National Safety Council), we propose that hunters pass
mandatory eye examinations annually before being granted a license to
Article IX. Whereas, private property rights are universally violated
by sport hunters, thus endangering home owners, their children and their
pets, we propose that “no trespassing laws” be strictly enforced, and
that fines be triple their present rates. Mandatory loss of a license
should occur on a second offense. Penalties for killing pets and
livestock should also be prohibitive.
Article X. Whereas, wildlife is managed primarily for recreational
hunting, and we believe that no animal should be terrorized, crippled,
or killed for recreation, we propose the abolition of recreational
killing and the ecologically destructive management of wildlife for that