The Outdoors Under Donald Trump

donald trump
Donald Trump" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Farmers care about farming issues. Coal miners care about mining issues. Doctors and nurses care about health care issues and since the election we’ve heard from these groups and others weighing in on how things are likely to go now that Donald J. Trump has been elected. Some are excited, some apprehensive and others, well, it depends on the issues of concern.

So what about outdoor oriented people – especially hunters, fishermen and others who depend on America’s fields, forests and waterways for their recreation? What’s the new administration portend for outdoor sportsmen?

While the spotlights have been shining on the cabinet appointments and only a couple of cabinet level departments have much affect on outdoor pursuits, there are many hopeful signs the Trump years will be good for outdoors enthusiasts.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance’s Executive Director Jim Donofrio couldn’t have been more pleased with the election outcome. “The RFA was the only sport fishing organization in the country that supported and publically endorsed Donald Trump right from the beginning,” explained Donofrio. “Trump obviously understands business as well as anyone and we quickly realized an administration under his leadership would benefit the recreational fishing industry which has been beaten down by ever-increasing governmental restrictions for years. We believe these businesses will now be better able to improve their products and expand their markets as America moves forward.”

The RFA is also optimistic that the new administration will provide a more balanced approach to managing the country’s marine resources. Hopefully, the days of environmental zealots running the show are past. I think we’ll start to see a more balanced approach between access to our resources, responsible stewardship, and common-sense conservation.

One issue concerning recreational anglers and the sport fishing industry during the past years is unlikely to persist under Donald Trump’s leadership. I’m referring to the use of executive actions and other less-than-transparent schemes to circumvent the proven management processes.

President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate vast areas of land, lakes and seas as “national monuments” in order to increase restrictions and ban fishing and hunting was troubling to many sportsmen. Hopefully, President Trump will rescinding many of Obama’s executive orders creating these no hunting and fishing zones among the executive orders he’s vowed to reverse.

What does a Donald Trump presidency mean for hunters? Here’s some things to keep in mind. One of the key issues in the election was the handling of the Supreme Court appointments particularly in light of defending our Second Amendment Rights. Trump seems totally committed to assuring the right to bear arms is safe and sound.

President-Elect Trump’s sons are avid hunters and frequently hunt on public lands in various parts of the country. As happened in the campaign and will continue once their dad is president, the Trump sons’ voice and counsel will continue to speak on behalf of America’s hunting traditions.

One issue that will continue to be watched is the pressure in Western states to privatize federal lands. There are reasons good and bad to do this, but the moneyed reason is to simplify mining and oil exploitation on land now under federal control. When it came to hunters’ rights and federal land sales, Donald Trump didn’t waffle in pre-election interviews, stating the US Fish and Wildlife Service director he appoints will “ideally be a hunter” and also under his watch “there would be no sale of public Western lands.”

Most states have seen declining numbers of hunters and anglers in the past decade. No doubt there are many reasons, but one making every list is the sub-par economy of the last decade meant less money and time available for recreational pursuits. Most pundits have an up beat outlook for America’s economic future under Trump. Promised tax cuts to lower and middle incomes may be just enough to allow lapsed outdoorsmen the time and money to jump back into the game.

More information:

OutdoorLife.com: Donald Trump on Guns, Hunting and Conservation

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Mike Schoonveld
Mike Schoonveld grew up hunting and fishing in rural Northwest Indiana. In 1986 he piggy-backed a career as an outdoor writer onto his already long tenure as a wildlife biologist with the Indiana DNR. Now retired from his DNR position, Schoonveld is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed boat captain, operates Brother Nature Charters on Lake Michigan and spends much of his time trailering his boat to fishing hotspots around Indiana and the Midwest. Mike can be reached through his website www.brother-nature.com or visit Mike's Outdoor World Blog at www.bronature.com

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