The RAC meeting this evening went very well, and I didn't have to do that much speaking.
Brittany Badger, Shyloh Robinson and I arrived at 6 PM. When we got there, we found that Kris Purdy and Paul Higgins were already there waiting for the meeting to start (Thanks for coming, everyone!). I filled out a comment card, we did some minor catching up with Kris and Paul, and we patiently waited for the meeting to begin.
The Antelope Island Buffer was discussed when the RAC discussed the new 2012/2013 waterfowl guidebook. Our proposal for a no-shooting buffer was a new rule that was introduced into the new guidebook. After the changes to the guidebook were introduced, the RAC asked for public comment concerning the issue. I stood up to the microphone and stated that the Utah Birders were in support of the new guidelines proposed, and most notably we agreed with the 600 foot buffer proposed along the Antelope Island Causeway.
After the guidelines were introduced, and comments were made by the public and by the RAC, and the issue was then voted on by the RAC; they voted unanimously to approve the guidelines, which included our proposed 200 yard buffer along the causeway. Members of the RAC were then asked to comment on the vote, and one member stated that he was very happy that hunters and birders worked together to solve a complex issue concerning both parties.
I am still in shock. I'm overjoyed that we worked together to come to a compromise that will work out for all parties concerned. I'm happy with the help and support I received from the birding community, and the hunting community as well. This really wouldn't have been accomplished without teamwork and compromise.
It's a humbling experience to feel like you've made a difference in the world, and that you've done something positive for conservation. This has been a great learning experience and I'm glad that I had the chance to experience it.
I forgot to thank many of those that have worked with me. In addition to those I thanked on the previous post, I'd like to thank: Jeff Richards and the Utah Waterfowl association, the Utah Airboat Association, Jay Banta and the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Kris Purdy, Paul Higgins, Don Paul, and another HUGE thank you to Jeff Gordon and the American Birding Association.
Labels: activism, Antelope Island, conservation, hunting, waterfowl