Forum, July 14: Change the N.H. Fish and Game Commission

Friday, July 13, 2018
Change Fish and Game Commission

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission must be changed. These men who hunt and trap do not represent the majority of the state’s citizens — most do not hunt or trap — and they do not represent the best interests of wildlife ecosystems, as proven by their most recent decisions.

At its July 2 meeting, the commission voted in favor of the unlimited trapping of foxes, ignoring the commission’s own wildlife biologists and data and discounting citizen input. One commissioner admitted to not reading the 491 pages of citizen comments. Anecdotes counted though: Another commissioner asserted fox populations are up; he claimed to have seen several crossing the road while driving to the meeting. Also, their vote in favor of trapping wild hares for live-bait training of hunting dogs ignored citizen comments opposing trapping and terrorizing hares. Fish and Game’s own experts urged trapping limits and shorter seasons because fox numbers have declined 65 percent since 1998, and there’s almost no market for fur, according to Fish and Game’s statistician.

That aside, the fundamental question was never asked: Why is this barbaric practice allowed at all? Who does this to animals, and why are they the ones determining wildlife’s fate? Wildlife does not belong to hunters and trappers. Wild animals are not commodities for anyone, including this small percentage of the population. Having the power to harm animals does not give anyone the right to hunt and trap.

For the sake of the planet and our own souls, we need to reconnect with nature, but not by killing it. To start, redesign the commission — who serves, its purpose and how input is used. And remove “game” from the commission’s name. Until then, wild animals haven’t a chance, and we’re all worse off for the cruelty this commission upholds.

Margaret Dean


The Prouty’s Simple Purpose

Bikers, walkers, rowers and golfers will be on the roads, sidewalks, river and fairways this weekend to participate in the 37th Prouty.

It takes an entire community to produce and host an event that brings 4,000 participants and 1,200 volunteers to our beautiful Upper Valley. Our purpose is simple: to move the needle forward in cancer research and to provide important everyday programs to our patients and their families at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

What makes The Prouty possible is the extraordinary commitment of our volunteers and participants, and the warm welcome, kindness and patience of the entire community that hosts us. Thank you all for being considerate of those sharing the roads and sidewalks so The Prouty is a safe and successful day for all. The Prouty is truly where the community comes together to fight cancer — and we are privileged to have your support.

Jean Brown, Executive Director

Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Bruce Bouchard, Director of Operations

The Prouty

Responsible Grafton County Budget

I write in response to Republican candidate Rebecca Bailey’s letter about the approval of the Grafton County budget (“Grafton County’s Budget Increase,” July 9), which was approved with no Republicans voting in favor but with no discussion except to restore the small hairdresser contract for the nursing home.

Bailey decries the vote as fiscally irresponsible. Fiscal responsibility is to provide the desired and required services at the lowest possible cost, while avoiding cuts that will force increases later on. This was the Republican policy in our county during many decades, and the Democrats have continued it, though now in defense against that party’s inheritors.

Specifically: The County Attorney’s Office has been swamped for at least six years by a drugs-induced increase in crime. Our county attorney worked miracles (on caseload and with drug and mental health courts) while being paid well under the median wage of her peers. She is leaving and we need to attract attorneys to run to replace her. We scramble each year to keep the office adequately staffed as arrests, murders, thefts and assaults mount. No private law office operates under this much pressure.

Also, a 1.5 percent pay increase for all staff is well below both the rate of inflation and the increase in average national wage (slightly more than inflation). We do have to compete in the free market, you know.

Finally, overall, our county budgets have always come in third-cheapest per capita and per acre out of the 10 New Hampshire counties — right after the two densest and most populated super-counties, and so far under No. 4 that it would take decades to lose our rank. That is because of a dedicated staff, commissioners who (mostly) do not want to destroy a good thing with a blind cut, state representatives who (mostly) back them up, and the enlightened policies developed by past generations and sustained and updated by thoughtful and hard-working Democratic legislators acting as the voting body of the county.

Rep. Susan Almy


A Strange July Fourth

Whatever you may think about him, President Donald Trump has made one thing very clear: He believes that getting things done is more important than the occasionally imperfect and slow-moving machinations of a democracy.

July Fourth felt strange this year. Caveat emptor.

Dan Weintraub 


Hornick for Grafton County Attorney

I’m supporting Marcie Hornick, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Grafton County attorney. Hornick is running to fill the vacancy created by Lara Saffo deciding not to seek re-election.

Through my involvement as a volunteer with the Grafton County Drug Court for the past eight years, I’ve seen firsthand how Hornick has represented drug court participants, as both a public defender and defense attorney, in a professional manner and with fervor and passion for the law. Her attention to detail and managerial skills have shown me that she has what it takes to be our next Grafton County attorney.

I urge you to join me in supporting Marcie Hornick and vote in the primary election on Sept. 11.

Ed Rajsteter


A War Between Good and Evil

Motorists who support President Donald Trump have increasingly been targeting the anti-Trump signs that have been posted in front of my home on Route 5 for almost two years. In my opinion, we are in the midst of a civil war between — as New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand recently put it in an interview with Jake Tapper — the forces of Good (the Resistance) and Evil (Trump and his administration).

Trump is an evil, autocratic, authoritarian, racist, treasonous, deranged fascist and his Cabinet and congressional sycophants are complicit in his malfeasance. I am happy to take on his moronic followers — alone in front of my home, if need be — in the memory of Joan of Arc, a saint who also was admired by the Canadian-Jewish philosophical songwriter Leonard Cohen (and I am neither a Catholic nor a Christian, but an agnostic).

Alice Morrison

Newbury, Vt.