A group you’d THINK would be very excited about a “freedom to hunt and fish” amendment to the state constitution is showing they are less than thrilled. Here is an email sent to the members of North Carolina Watermen United by their leadership:
From:Melba Milak [redacted]
Date: Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 3:01 PM
Subject: Fwd: Opposition to Hunt, Fish Amendment
To: Melba Milak [redacted][…]TO ALL NCWU –NCWU has many concerns about the proposed Hunt and Fish Constitutional Amendment that will be on the November 6, 2018 ballot.We are opposed to this Amendment as it reads and are asking that you vote NO.[…]Thank youMelba MilakSecretary, NCWU
Adding to this is an email exchange between Rep. Jason Saine (R) and NCWU’s man on Jones Street Britton Shackelford:
[…] This issue is more complex than just voting for something intrinsic to the heritage of NC. The fact that we have no protection for commercial fishing, the consumer, nor the 3/4 of a billion dollar direct contributor to the state economy, which is charter fishing.
Hunting, and fishing are more than NC issues. The Robertson/Pittman fund, and the Wallop/Breaux fund are excise taxes levied against all fishing (Wallop/Breaux), and hunting (Robertson/Pittman), supplies by the federal gov’t. The 60/40 split of these funds are used to provide so much more than just hunting, and fishing opportunity for the residents if our state. These funds are used to provide outdoor opportunity to other indirect users throughout the nation.
The WRC, and the MFC, have proven themselves to not have the true interests of those they represent, in mind. Extreme regulation curtailing the ability of all direct users of our state saltwater resources to harvest fish, and ultimately provide for the consumer, are now the norm, with an out-of-control, MFC. The WRC pressing for Sunday waterfowl hunting, against all biological facts, and public, sentiment, is a very real concern.
This amendment poses many grievous concerns to the direct users of our resources; the ones who finance these resources. Our concerns are real, and these concerns have been very real, for a very long time, a d have been consistently pointed out, for over a decade. We would like to see the GA tackle regulatory reform, which we have consistently asked for, rather than pass, yet one more, law that is open to interpretation.Thank youBritton Shackelford
On Oct 27, 2018 8:47 PM, “Rep. Jason Saine” <Jason.Saine@ncleg.net> wrote:
Hey man, I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear or was misunderstood, I just meant it’s unfortunate that there is disagreement.
Shackelford wasn’t done:
What is unfortunate, Jason, is that a supposed conservative majority has duped the public into thinking this issue is about hunting, and fishing. The for-hire, and commercial industry have been under fire in this state, since the FRA was passed.I know this was before your time, but I suggest you study these proceedings to see that the three (3) direct harvesters (commercial, charter/headboat, and recreational) were reduced to two(2) from the 8th reading of the FRA, to the 9th, which was the version that was ratified. As of this time, nobody knows how charter/headboat was dropped, leaving only commercial, and recreational, as the only direct harvesters covered under the FRA.The original reading if this referendum included commercial fishermen. The commercial designation was quickly dropped, by the House. As this referendum is written, the only anglers given protection are recreational fishermen, not charter/headboat, nor commercial.Our area of the state is opposed to Sunday waterfowl hunting, even as the WRC has pressed ro pass this. This referendum totally opens the issue of Sunday waterfowl hunting up to the courts, and removes it from the WRC, and the GA.This referendum is unfortunate, Jason. What is further unfortunate is that this referendum totally opens the issue of hunting and fishing up to court challenges, and very liberal interpretation. Melba has included my phone number. If you would like to discuss this, please feel free to call.Britton Shackelford