Thursday, July 8, 2010

National Hunting Parks

Source of the Carbon River, public domain, US Government

The Evergreen State already has substantial parkland, but the one thing we do not have is a hunting park. Though Washingtonians can hunt in open land that is unowned or owned by lumber companies and conditionally open use, the state has not preserved land for sportsmen in a strong way.

An environmental group there is currently trying to protect the Carbon River, but right now I doubt voters in any state are much interested in spending on parks and recreation, and especially not one that already has so much of it. A spokesman of their group said they would try to get funds from the Stimulus bill, but if for some reason they don't, their next best hope is to offer Washington something it doesn't currently have - a different kind of park and one that will help preserve a national tradition.

See, in Medieval Europe, peasants were not allowed to hunt wildlife, sometimes (in the case of France) even if it was eating their crops. When the Irish, Germans and other groups that came to this land in poverty took their land claims, they not only could hunt, but it became an important part of their life. The word "buck" is used for dollar because early Americans would often trade buckskins instead of using the rare gold bullion that England forced, with mercantilism, back to its own borders.

Go to a Western lodge off a rural highway, even today, the ultimate symbol of land ownership for the common, frontier man, and at the end of the great timber floored hall, prominently over the fire place, the head of a deer or elk, and many other preserved animals like Cougars, Owls and Hawks. You may also be served venison, and use a deerskin as a blanket.

The Carbon River controversy centers on development along WA-165 of the Tacoma metropolitan area. This makes the park both very accessible to city slickers who normally don't hunt, and very in danger of development. "Developing" it as a reserve for hunters and their prey would nearly guarantee its preservation, and be very political tenable as it is something both locked and loaded Republicans like me and greenminded Liberals can agree on. Similar parks can be established in other states, near cities, to give the common man a real chance to engage in this great tradition.


BigGiantHat said...

"...locked and loaded republicans like you..." scares me just a little bit :).

You make some interesting points. I am greenminded and I'm all for you being able to shoot stuff if it makes you happy (and the target isn't me).

Is anyone pursuing your idea? The folks on the other end of that link don't seem to be.


Jeremy Janson said...

"Is anyone pursuing your idea? The folks on the other end of that link don't seem to be."

Not to my knowledge. If someone was pursuing my idea I'd probably quote the pursuers instead! But this post is also kind of a "get real" aimed at that group.

nothingprofound said...

Go into any rural area restaurant in the US and you'll see moose or deer heads mounted on the wall. I had never before made the historical connections to that practice that you mention here, so as usual you've taught me something new.

nothingprofound said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeremy Janson said...

Thanks for stopping by NP! :-)