Letters to the Editor

Hunters help environment

In response to the writer of "Hunting article promotes death (Jan. 29): Duck hunters are not destroyers. They contribute to wildlife habitat through special taxes on their equipment and ammunition, license and stamp fees, and many other ways -- including volunteering their time and labor to support conservation- minded organizations

such as Ducks Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association. Without this support, areas such as the Grasslands Ecological Area in Merced County, necessary to the survival of many species of wildlife, likely would have been converted to subdivisions, shopping malls and agriculture long ago. Then many birds and other animals would be homeless. In short, hunters have been the salvation of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, fish, reptiles, small mammals and even insects.

I have been a duck hunter for some 50 years and have never felt an urge to step onto the writer's "short path to the killing of higher life forms." If you eat meat, wear shoes, or apply certain cosmetics, you are at least complicit in this killing.

Saturday, I will accompany my grandchildren on the junior state's waterfowl hunt. It is my privilege to shoulder the awesome responsibility of instilling in them the respect for nature and its marvels which has guided five generations of our family.