Hunting is a major part of our state’s heritage and a generations-old activity for many families in the Pacific Northwest. However, sportsmen constantly see more government regulations affecting where and how they can hunt or fish. As demand for public lands increases, they want to know their rights are respected and protected.
That is why I sponsored a constitutional amendment that would allow Washington voters to decide whether or not to enshrine the right to hunt and fish in the state constitution.
The proposal preserves the right to use traditional means to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, identifying them as the preferred method of wildlife management in order to promote wildlife and land conservation.
If approved, our state would become the 22nd to constitutionally protect both activities.
Similar state constitutional protections were enacted as far back as 1777 in Vermont and as recently as just last year in Indiana and Kansas.
While the committee chair has indicated this proposal won’t move forward this year, the bill helped begin the conversation about this important topic and is likely to be addressed during the next legislative session.
Below is a map of the states that have already adopted protections for hunting and fishing.