How You Can Help Protect Arizona Wildlife

Support Arizona Wildlife

AZGFD i_support_wildlife_sticker_miniEach year, more than 100,000 people apply for a license to kill one or more of Arizona’s wild animals.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) encourages wildlife killing because roughly one quarter of the Department’s budget comes from hunting license sales. The Department also supports killing to reduce conflicts with the harvesters, the farmers, ranchers, and others that complain about wildlife (click to read more about cattle).

At the same time it encourages killing wild animals, AZGFD works to protect wild animals.  Though this sounds crazy, it is a common practice for governments to sell some of their wildlife species for funds to use to protect other species. Of course, we all know that, as of today, protection has failed and more than half of all vertebrates on the Earth has disappeared since 1970.

I find it difficult to believe that there are more people in Arizona that want to kill animals than people that want to protect them.  There are many programs that aim to protect wildlife. There is even one by AZGFD called “I Support Wildlife.”  Here’s what the Department says about the program.

“I Support Wildlife™ bridges the widening gap between wildlife facing new threats and a sharp increase in the cost of conservation. A one-year membership lets you explore Arizona’s unique natural heritage while taking action to preserve it for the future.”

Arizona Wildlife Problems

“Arizona is home to more than 800 wildlife species, from Gambel’s quail to bighorn sheep. But their natural habitats — which stretch across 50 million acres of public land — are increasingly at risk. A rapidly changing world presents a host of threats to wildlife: Expanding cities, competing uses for open space and increasing demands for a limited water supply all play a role in this.”

“It is the job of the Arizona Game and Fish Department to protect, restore and preserve these species and the places where they live. But no Arizona tax dollars go to support this mission. Instead, the sales of hunting and fishing licenses are the primary source of funding. However, these funds are not keeping pace with the cost of wildlife management, leaving our native animals vulnerable at a critical time.”

You may have noticed that cattle grazing isn’t mentioned directly.  That doesn’t mean that AZGFD is unaware of the enormous impact of ranching.  It’s just that our political system leaves the Department powerless to protest.

AZGFD I Support with costSupport AZGFD

Having financial support from those of us wanting to protect, not kill, the animals will help AZGFD with inventories and analysis of more species.  It’s possible that our donations will be used to promote more hunting license sales, but I don’t believe that.  Anyway, let’s give it a try.  Click the I-Support-Wildlife image, sign up, pay your $25, and let’s see if AZGFD’s promotion of hunting licenses declines and its protection programs and reports on wildlife conditions increase.

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