TROPHY HUNTING AND GRIZZLY DELISTING CHEERLEADER, MONTANA CONGRESSMAN RYAN ZINKE, ENDORSES TRUMP AS THE “MAKE AMERICA WHITE (GREAT) AGAIN” CIRCUS HITS BILLINGS
"Governor Steve Bullock has a decision to make: support the Zinke-Trump alliance on delisting the grizzly, or honor the pledges he has made to Montana's Native community."
Zinke continues track record of disenfranchising Natives with embrace of Trump
“When I came to Congress, I got on the Natural Resources Committee so I could shape policies,” says Montana Congressman, Ryan Zinke, and the man the NRA’s American Hunter calls “an avid hunter” has kept his word, at least to the 14% of his constituents who confuse sport with killing. Here a clarification must be made: American Hunter should have classified Zinke as “an avid trophy hunter,” like Trump’s sons and campaign surrogates, Don, Jr. and Eric. When Zinke starred at this year’s Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas, he wasn’t representing subsistence hunters or the family that goes out at the weekend in deer season to put food in the freezer, he was aligning with those like Don, Jr. and Eric, and those like Cecil slayer Dr. Walter Palmer, who will be descending on Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to trophy kill the sacred grizzly on sacred lands.
While running for Lieutenant Governor, Zinke went on record to say that in respect to wildlife management, he took his lead from “ranchers and hunting guides across the state.” While in Congress, Zinke has introduced legislation to “block threats from anti-hunting groups” that seek to limit hunting on federal lands, and was instrumental in bringing the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act to passage. Wyoming Senator, John Barrasso, added an amendment to the Senate’s companion bill, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016, which specifies that upon passage Wyoming’s wolves will lose ESA protections. According to Barrasso, his amendment “protects that delisting from further judicial review,” or in other words, subverts the system and denies opponents due process.
“This amendment is one of many legislative efforts I will continue to pursue until Wyoming’s wolf management plan is protected and fully implemented,” says Barrasso, his promise on wolves a warning for the grizzly. Among other provisions in the oxymoronic “SHARE Act,” Zinke supports aerial gunning, the baiting of grizzly bears and denning wolves on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, liberal hunting with hounds, and the use of steel-jawed leg traps. Under SHARE, “sportsmen” like Zinke will be able to import a limited number of polar bear carcasses and ivory from African elephants, both of which demonstrate just how out of touch with the overriding sentiment of the American people both Houses are.
The day after Trump insulted Natives by demeaning the tragedy of Pocahontas in his spat with Senator Elizabeth Warren, Zinke has endorsed him. Given Zinke’s record with Native people in Montana, his endorsement of Trump should come as no surprise. Zinke famously summarized his solution to poverty on Montana’s reservations by suggesting if “you want to feed someone, you need to teach a person how to fish.” Zinke has consistently sought to undermine tribal rights and services, including seeking to repeal the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and opposing funding for Violence Against Women programs for Native women.
Naturally, Zinke is a cheerleader for delisting and trophy hunting the grizzly against the wishes of Montana’s tribes and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. It is time for Montana Governor, Steve Bullock, to have a gut check and reevaluate who he sides with on this issue: the tiny minority salivating at trophy killing grizzlies, or the majority, including his states’ original inhabitants, who oppose it on spiritual grounds. “Montanans should be in charge of managing our wildlife for the betterment of the state. I am excited that we can again have that opportunity and we will do so in a responsible way that is reflective of our values, and the value of this iconic species,” the governor has said of delisting the grizzly. Fewer than 14% of the state’s population isn’t the majority of “Montanans,” and trophy hunting the grizzly is not reflective of the “values” of the Montana-based tribes, over 80% of “Montanans” generally, and 99% of the American people. The blood on the land will not just be on Zinke’s hands, but Bullock’s. “It’s time, because this election, I think, it’s a decision point in our history,” says Zinke of endorsing Trump. It is indeed “a decision point in our history.” What say you, Governor Bullock?
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