There’s mo­men­tum for change

The Pilot - - Editorial -

I am writ­ing this let­ter to in­form the out­doors peo­ple of New­found­land and Labrador that there has been a name change to our con­ser­va­tion group. This is both un­for­tu­nate and re­gret­table, be­cause our orig­i­nal name, New­found­land Fed­er­a­tion of Hunters and An­glers (NFHA), was just about es­tab­lished and was re­spected as a con­ser­va­tion group in the province.

In the past, our orig­i­nal group, the NFHA, had an ex­ec­u­tive, a mem­ber­ship and spon­sors. Af­ter a cou­ple of years, due to var­i­ous rea­sons, I was left by my­self, but I re­fused to give up and aban­don what I con­sider to be a worth­while cause. I have ad­mit­ted pub­licly that I have been by my­self for over three years. I have not been speak­ing for any­one or on any­body’s be­half but I have been very vo­cal in the pub­lic me­dia on is­sues that I be­lieve are im­por­tant in our out­door world.

If you hap­pen to hear of the New­found­land Fed­er­a­tion of Hunters and An­glers name in the fu­ture, my name will not be at­tached to it.

Our new name is the New­found­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Hunter and An­glers ( NAHA) con­ser­va­tion group. We have a new Face­book page with our new name. It is a closed group page where a per­son has to ask to join, thus be­com­ing a mem­ber, which now numbers over 700 and climb­ing.

Our ob­jec­tives are still the same, which are: re­duc­ing the hunt­ing age in New­found­land and Labrador, im­prov­ing the struc­ture of the food fish­ery, and in­tro­duc­ing the Hunters Feed­ing the Hun­gry pro­gram, among oth­ers.

Cur­rently, we are lob­by­ing the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment seek­ing a re­duc­tion of moose li­cences on the is­land por­tion of the province un­til there has been a com­pre­hen­sive study com­pleted that will in­di­cate what the pop­u­la­tion ac­tu­ally is. Once this is es­tab­lished, then the gov­ern­ment can is­sue the ap­pro­pri­ate num­ber of li­cences to en­sure that there will be a hunt for the fu­ture that will be sus­tain­able.

The ma­jor­ity of moose hunters on the is­land ad­mit that the moose pop­u­la­tion is in de­cline based on ob­ser­va­tions while out hunt­ing, and now snow­mo­bil­ing, among other ac­tiv­i­ties. We have a pe­ti­tion that cir­cu­lated around the is­land which will be pre­sented to the House of As­sem­bly on this is­sue.

Most re­cently, we have been asked and I have ac­cepted, on be­half of the NFHA, to join a group called New­found­land and Labrador Coali­tion for Aqua­cul­ture Re­form, NL-CAR. I have ac­cepted a po­si­tion to be on the steer­ing com­mit­tee.

If you, as an out­doors per­son — not only hunters or an­glers — want to see pos­i­tive changes and im­prove­ments to our out­door world, want to be part of the process, or just be a mem­ber of con­ser­va­tion group that can and will ac­com­plish these and other goals, then join the New­found­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Hunters and An­glers.

Barry Ford­ham St. John’s New­found­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Hunters and An­glers

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