In one of the most shocking developments aimed at sportsmen, ranchers, miners and loggers, a consortium of well known anti-hunting groups has proposed that the north Kaibab (Unit 12A) and area in the eastern part of game management Unit 13A to receive national monument designation by President Obama.
All total, the groups are seeking to have 1.7 million acres of public lands- which include what is arguably known as the most productive mule deer herd in Arizona- into a national monument, just like President Bill Clinton did when with a stroke of a pen, when he designated over a million acres of lands of public lands as the Parashant National Monument in Unit 13B, the Arizona Strip.
The groups submitting the proposal are the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and Center For Biological Diversity.
Sportsmen's groups all over Arizona learned of the proposal when Mohave County Supervisor Gary Watson made a copy of the document entitled "Conserving the Grand Canyon Watershed A proposal for National Monument Designation" available to me and then I sent it all over Arizona, to literally everyone I know.
To say that shock waves went quickly through the hunting, ranching, mining and logging industries is an understatement.
Just take a look at one of the many outdoor sites on the Internet and you'll see where hunters have responded en mass, wanting to know how to derail this proposal.
In reading over the document, which can be found on the Arizona Elk Society's web site at www.arizonaelksociety.org/pdf%20 documents.MUSUMR3339.pdf one cannot help but see all the references to grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, mountain lions and even jaguars!
The document spells out that there will not be any logging, that grazing and uranium mining would be eliminated, most roads will be closed and it sets the stage for the "recovery" of numerous major predators, which would absolutely destroy the deer herd on the Kaibab.
The document states many purported "facts" that have outraged sportsmen and others are finding incredible.
For instance the document quotes a group called the Outdoor Industry Foundation that states that 24 percent of the state's population is bird watchers, while only three percent of Arizonians hunt.
Bottom line is you need to read this document and then contact the AZ G&F, which I have not heard anything from when it comes to responding to this threat, and even the governor Brewer's office, which also hasn't said anything about this. You need to contact our local and federal legislators and let them know how you feel about this issue.
In my opinion this may be the biggest threat to AZ sportsmen and wildlife since the now infamous USO tag fiasco.
Locally, we have Supervisor Gary Watson to thank for making us aware of this threat.
He is on top of this and has a meeting scheduled with Congressman Paul Gosar today to talk about it. I've also been invited to attend the meeting.
On Thursday, Supervisor Watson, I and a few others will be meeting with Kim Crumbo, the Conservation Director for the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council who will be coming to Kingman to explain their proposal.
Should be interesting to hear what Mr. Crumbo has to say to the questions that he will no doubt be asked by those in attendance.