Editor, The Commercial:

Editor, The Commercial:

Who do you trust to properly manage Arkansas’ deer herd and other wildlife? Trained wildlife professionals in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, or politicians with no background in wildlife conservation?

The General Assembly, through Ballot Initiative No. 1, would put the setting of state regulations, including the approval of hunting seasons, bag limits, hunting hours and more, in their own political hands rather than the professionals. The move upends nearly 80 years of professional wildlife management in Arkansas.

It gets worse. If Ballot Initiative No. 1 passes, the General Assembly would be able to block regulations being put in place by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to keep our air and water clean, properly manage solid and hazardous waste disposal, and make sure that mining is properly regulated. The General Assembly could even block training and other standards for various licensed professionals. This is not in the best interest of Arkansans.

We need trained and experienced professionals, not politicians with no training, managing our wildlife and keeping our state clean and healthy for all. Vote against Ballot Initiative No. 1.

Ellen McNulty

Pine Bluff

President, Arkansas Wildlife Federation

Collin O’Mara, CEO and President, National Wildlife Federation