Mea culpa, more

To the Journal editor:

This is a response to the letter by Marvin Roberson. I am gratified by his “full disclosure,” that he is an employee of, and presumably, a genuine card-carrying member of the Sierra Club. Wow!

To start with, I wish to offer a correction. As Mr. Roberson pointed out, the Sierra Club is not a party to the federal lawsuit to overturn the state wolf law or the federal delisting of the western Great Lakes wolf population. I apologize for the error.

When I referred to the Sierra Club and three other animal rights/animal protection groups on the Roundtable, I wrote that animal protection is their raison’ d’etre. He claims “This is simply false,” yet, he admits in his letter, that “… we work to protect populations and species …”

When I mentioned that they are anti-hunting, he said “This is false.” However, as the Sierra Club representative on the Wolf Management Roundtable, he voted against a proposal to allow public hunting and trapping seasons for management purposes.

As for the consensus rule not producing an acceptable outcome for me personally, I didn’t know what the result would be, because nobody can predict the future. As it turned out, the rule spoiled things, because a minority of stakeholder groups, six out of 20, had veto power over the will of the majority. In other words, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources stacked the deck to achieve a predetermined outcome.

When the Roundtable convened, we had no way of knowing what to expect. When I offered to participate, I committed myself to see the process through, even though it turned out to be a deeply, if not fatally flawed, management plan. I accepted what the DNR offered in compensation for our services like everyone else. Why not?

Even though the opinions expressed in my letters-are my own, I faithfully represented the best interests of the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance. I signed the Recommended Guiding Principles on which the Wolf Management Plan is based, because, at the time, I felt it was best for our organization. I reasoned that the plan could be amended if necessary.

Participation on this citizen’s committee was a personal sacrifice and a lot of hard work for all concerned. I don’t regret this one bit. To criticize me for accepting compensation, signing the recommendations and attending the celebration, simply because I disagree with the process, is petty and small-minded.

John Hongisto