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PETA and the Anti-Scout

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Actually, handling the birds would have very little impact. It is common practice among bird biologists to take young out of the nest, weigh and measure them, place bands on their legs, and even place equipment near the nest - all without damaging the little birds or shortening their life span. So - you can't see it plus there is no lasting effect just like C&R fishing only it is C&R birding.


The discussion that we have been having is not whether there is a benefit of C&R to the environment, but whether C&R is detrimental to the fish or fishery or environment or to scout ethics. You have yet to show me how it would have a negative impact on any of those. I have provided information about how it can help the environment by providing fees plus it has additional benefits to those who partake of the sport as others have indicated.


I guess whether you lump fish and wildlife together depends on the common usage. If you check most universities the degree programs they have are either fisheries biology or wildlife biology or fish and wildlife biology so in resource management they are separated. The common usage for the public is that wildlife is birds and mammals, fish are fish, and bugs are insects. If you use a strict definition then fish are wildlife just as humans are primates along with the great apes and monkeys. Common usage has a separation.


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Interesting perspective FishSqueezer.

If I understand your last comment correctly, you would have no issue with one of your scouts handling the sparrow chicks as long as the replaced them back in the nest. Where does it cross the line? When the scout becomes threatened? Like playing with bear cubs?


I come from a mountaineering background. Back in the 70s we had a change in the way we approached climbing. We abandoned pitons and expansion bolts in favor of wedges and chocks. Some of us purists would not climb routes that required that equipment. The result was an early version of LNT. By the mid 80s, it was very rare to see any climber with equipment that caused any damage or marks to the climbing routes. Routes that interfered with bird nesting areas were voluntarily closed during breeding seasons. So when BSA adopted LNT for its outdoor ethic guide, I read the entire LNT guidebook. Not just the condensed bullet points. Most of it mirrored our informal ethic in climbing. I was delighted that BSA was concerned with our impact in the wild and was taking positive stance on it. Yes, it changes the way some traditional scouting methods might be executed. Yes, it requires many to adjust their styles and traditions. What bothers me is the same people who rigorously follow other scout methods and policies, take a buffet approach to LNT.

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You read way too much into things Gern. I was addressing your comment. You made a comment, and through implication, that if one was to pick up a baby bird that you have essentially killed that bird. I was providing information that called to question your conclusion. You have extended that beyond the text and intent, not I. Don't put words in someone elses mouth (or post I suppose).


It is great that you are an ethical rock climber. I tried it myself for a brief period back in the 80's. And, it is great that you support LNT as do I - so we both do agree with LNT. I suppose our disagreement is on the specifics of LNT. LNT is not a football game with specific rules required to play. LNT is a set of guidelines that people should follow to reduce their impact on the environment. We don't have refs enforcing the rules and we don't have to pass a test before we go into the wilds. LNT is an attempt to educate people about their impact and to lessen that impact. If you choose to read it as a set of hard, fast rules, that is your choice. It is not the intent of LNT.


Anything on how C&R damages a fishery yet?

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Actually Fishsqueezer, I never posted anything that claims that C&R fishing is bad for the fishery. Others have, but I haven't. Overall, I don't think it does. Sure some fish are stressed to death by the experience and some are permanently disfigured, but by and large most fish do just fine. C&R doesn't help, doesn't hurt. But that doesn't make it OK.


My ethics go beyond immediate measurable impact to the environment. My ethics would not allow me to engage in any activity that derives entertainment from the abuse or exploitation of wildlife. This thread was about how out of touch PETA is on issues. Their C&R policy is often used to demonstrate how out of touch PETA is with society. My goal was to explore their reasoning and demonstrate it really isn't that out of touch and actually aligns with BSAs guidelines.


I'm not proposing that fishing be outlawed, I'm just asking every fisherman to consider their own ethics when engaging in the activity. You won't see me in the stream bed with a rod and reel, but you also won't see me on the shore shaking my head.


BTW, our troop is heading to Northern Tiers this summer. I plan on fishing for my meals since I don't like MREs. Not for entertainment, but for sustenance. My ethics allow me to do that and they are not supported by PETA.

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I would say that after 6 pages, we have beat this dead horse quite a few times!


I think the overall point is that we don't like outside groups or people telling us how to run our programs. Pretty natural reaction for most organizations. PETA is particularly a hot topic, because of the tatics of some its members and affiliates. PETA is not popular where I am at, but then again, neither is Osam Bin Laden.

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