Bush Angers Hunters and Anglers by Promoting Resource Extraction

The Bush administration is ticking off many traditionally Republican hunters and anglers with its plans to encourage logging and oil and gas drilling in natural areas throughout the Western U.S. Last week, 450 U.S. gun clubs sent a petition to the U.S. Forest Service objecting to plans to remove protections from the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, which contains prime habitat for big game and salmon. And many hunters in Montana are irate about administration plans to encourage gas drilling in the Rocky Mountain Front, which is home to bears, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, bobcats, and many other large mammals. Carl Rappold, a Montana rancher and longtime Republican, says he won’t vote for Bush again: “To me, it doesn’t make sense. We got all these species clustered in a little bit of space. It is almost like a last stand. And now we are going to develop it for a handful of gas?”