Despite strong opposition--888 comments opposed out of 1073 responses--the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unaimously to pass a new sandhill crane season in Tennessee.
Sandhill crane viewing created a direct economic impact of $232,200 in 2012 and Tennesseans have a strong history of 22 years of celebrating sandhill cranes in an annual festival that attracts thousands to the viewing areas in and around the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. Despite the watchable wildlife value of this species, the Commission's vote was unanimous. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has stated that sandhill crane hunting is not expected to generate additional revenues for the Agency, yet TFWC Chairman, Jeff McMillan, was quoted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as saying, "By getting people interested in hunting sandhill cranes more revenue would be available to create more habitat."
Read Pam Sohns comments on the proposed season and the planting of corn that attracts the cranes in her August 24th opinion editorial. In its report of the issue, the Chattanooga Times Free Press interviews Axel Ringe, conservation spokesman for the Sierra Club, who suggests the wildlife commission needs to be "rebalanced". I think most citizens in Tennessee would agree.
Previous blog posts and information about the eastern sandhill crane hunting issue.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.