Ben Franklin is quoted as telling his fellow revolutionaries that, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” While the consequences of the issues we face today are not near as dire, Franklin’s lessons are still very relevant. Lesson one, if we let small differences of opinion become greater than the overall mission, we will be overcome. Lesson two, when we work together we’re a force to be reckoned with.
This is the ethos behind the Oregon Sportsmen’s Conservation Partnership (OSCP). The OSCP’s primary purpose is to protect the opportunities for all Oregonians to participate in the heritage of hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting while also ensuring that Oregon’s wildlife populations continue to thrive in perpetuity.
The catalyst for its formation was proposed ballot measure IP-13 which would have criminalized virtually any human activity resulting in the death or breeding of animals. (Think hunting, fishing, trapping, pest control, animal husbandry, etc.…) And while this attack on our outdoor heritage has been temporarily fended off, history has shown us there will be more.
It’s important to remember that hunting and fishing are not rights, but privileges that can be taken away. You need not look far for examples. See Washington State’s lack of a 2022 spring bear season or Oregon’s 1994 measure 18 which banned baited bear hunting and hunting of cougar with dogs. And, surprise, IP-13 is likely making a return in 2024 as IP-3.
Members are united in their support of sound management decisions based on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Working together, the OSCP will continue to advocate and work for sound, science based, management strategies, in part by preserving the tools available to those directly responsible for managing fish and game populations in our great state of Oregon.
Coming together is the best strategy to ensure a strong future for wildlife conservation by protecting and expanding hunting and fishing opportunities throughout Oregon. And whether it is IP-13, IP-3, measure 18, or some other attack, we’ll be ready.
Danny Miller is a member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and currently serves as a Regional Director for SW Oregon.