Politics

Hunting And Fishing Now A Constitutional Right In Utah

(Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

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Utah voters voted Tuesday to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right.

Amendment E, the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment, received an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote, with nearly 75% of all voters choosing to implement it, according to Ballotpedia.

The amendment creates a state constitutional right to hunt and fish for Utah residents in order to promote wildlife conservation and management and preserve hunting and fishing. The new right declares hunting and fishing are the preferred means to manage wildlife within the state.

PAGE, AZ - MARCH 24: A rare and endangered California condor flies over the Colorado River in Marble Gorge, east of Grand Canyon National Park, on March 24, 2007 west of Page, Arizona. Condor managers taking blood samples from the 57 wild condors in Arizona both before and after hunting season find that all 57 condors test positive for contamination by lead matching the isotropic fingerprint of the lead commonly used in ammunition, and that those levels rise significantly by the end of the season. Many of the condors become so sick that biologists must re-capture them for lead-poisoning treatments. Several die each year. Experts believe the condors are ingesting the lead as they scavenge gut piles left behind hunters because lead bullets shatter and fragment inside the kill. Officials in Arizona are encouraging hunters to use copper bullets instead of lead-based ammunition and in California, a coalition of conservation groups has sued the California Fish and Game Commission in an effort to force a ban on lead ammunition in Condor ranges. The condors in the Marble Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs area easily fly as far west as Lake Mead, by way of the Grand Canyon, and to Zion National Park and far into Utah. With a wingspan up to 9 ? feet, they are the largest flying birds in North America. In 1982, when the world population of California condors dropped to only 22 and extinction was believed eminent, biologist captured them and began a captive breeding and release program which has increased the total population to 278, of which 132 now live in the wild in Arizona, California, and Baja California, Mexico. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

PAGE, AZ – MARCH 24: A rare and endangered California condor flies over the Colorado River in Marble Gorge, east of Grand Canyon National Park, on March 24, 2007 west of Page, Arizona. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

However, the right isn’t absolute, as state laws and policies would prohibit a convicted poacher from getting a hunting license, per Fox 13. (RELATED: Utah Set To Officially Outlaw Slavery After Election Night Amendment Passes)

Republican House Sponsor Rep. Casey Snider said hunting and fishing are integral to the state during deliberations.

“Hunting and fishing has always been a critical component of our state … it’s a part of who we are. This bill is not only about protecting who we are, but preserving who we are going forward,” he said. “It is not unforeseeable, and history bares this out, that 30 or 40 or 50 years from now, those participating in [hunting and fishing] will be a very significant minority, more so than they already are.”

22 other states have hunting and fishing as a constitutional right.