|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JANUARY 28, 2005
|CONTACT: Sierra Club
Bart Semcer, 202-547-1141
Sierra Club Reaction to False Accusations By the National Rifle Association, Sets the Record Straight on Gun and Hunting Policies
Bart Semcer, Washington Representative for Fish and Wildlife Issues
WASHINGTON -- January 28 -- The National Rifle Association (NRA) recently announced its resignation from the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), citing the Sierra Clubs involvement in the OWAA as the reason. The Sierra Club finds it unfortunate that the NRA choose to politicize both journalism and conservation by using divisive tactics and misleading statements.
The 750,000 members of the Sierra Club remain committed to working with all Americans to conserve wildlife habitat and improve recreational opportunities. The Sierra Club believes that conservation of the natural world will only be achieved when diverse interests engage each other and maintain a dialogue about how to preserve a rich outdoor heritage for all. Our members will continue to work with all organizations and individuals interested in ensuring better hunting, fishing, hiking and boating opportunities for the American people and future generations.
The Sierra Club is proud of our association with OWAA, which is a premier forum for outdoor communicators. OWAA is an organization with its roots in hunting and fishing, and we are committed to strengthening that legacy. In addition to other activities, in 2005 the Sierra Club will be sponsoring a new OWAA Excellence in Craft Award, the Backcountry Sportsman Award.
For over a century, Sierra Club has been dedicated to exploring and protecting the natural world. We are a broad- based conservation organization with a diverse membership. Approximately 20 percent of Sierra Club members reported buying hunting and/or fishing licenses in the past year, and Sierra Club policy explicitly recognizes sport-hunting and fishing as a valuable wildlife management tool. Sierra Club also has an active political program dedicated to conservation, which in 2004 endorsed 40 members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and 19 candidates with an "A" rating or better from the NRA, seven more candidates than in the previous election cycle. Contrary to NRA assertions, the Sierra Club does not have a position on the right to own guns and does not seek to prohibit private ownership of firearms.