Hunting in parks is one of the serious problems faced by many countries in the world since this activity may affect park ecosystems. Kevin Van Tighem (author of Coming West: A Natural History of Home) in his article “Maybe-Sometimes” and Tony Weis (a member of the executive Committee of the Eastern Canada Chapter of Sierra Club) and Anita Krajnc (an organizer with the peaceful parks Coalition) in “Never” convey their different opinion on the topic “Should hunting be allowed in Parks?”. These articles published in “Alternative Journal” (26:3 Summer 2000) focus on conservation of parks.
Initially, van Tighem as well as Weis and Krajnc agree with conservation of habitat and they do not support destruction of ecological and social aspects of parks. They say that people should restore and save biodiversity instead of their interest to make a profit from parks. However, Van Tighem explains that humans are probably needed in parks when the number of predators decreases and causes over population in the parks. He believes that human hunters can play the role of predators in a natural process to balance the population in parks.
Nevertheless, the human hunters may not be able to play as perfect a role as predators. Even though Van Tighem suggests hunting is acceptable under certain conditions, he agrees with Weis and Krajnc that hunters do not select animals as natural predators do. Human hunters tend to kill the big and healthy animals. Consequently, the breeding animals will decrease in numbers and this condition, in turn, may influence the natural chains in the future.
There is a different point of view between the writers related to the position of “hunter conservationists”. Van Tighem gives a positive impression about this group by stating that “hunter conservationists” have been involved in campaigning for the protection of wilderness areas. They have been involved in protecting Denali National Park and the Arctic National Wildlife Range. In contrast, Weis and Krajnc believe that “conservative environment group” are real hypocrites since they pretend to be conservationists but on the other hand they let people kill animals deliberately and cruelly. For instance, the Partnership for Public Lands has paid little attention to the bloodsport issue.
In terms of the damage caused by human hunters, Weis and Krajnc claim that protecting the wilderness parks from any hunting is really crucial because hunting could not only damage the ecological health of the parks but also the social function of parks by, for example, destroying animal life and annoying the park visitors. Conversely, Van Tighem emphasizes that actually human hunting is not harmful for ecosystem because, based on the history in North America, it can help give shape to the environment when the hunters don’t use the motor vehicles or other modern technology.
However, dealing with the negative impact of hunting, the writers have the same idea that hunting may have negative effects on the park visitors since it can interfere with their relaxation and contemplation. Basically, the visitors do not want to hear the sound of shotguns or see armed strangers because they come to watch and interact with wild animals. The animals will run away from the visitors when they see the hunters who threaten their life.
In brief, both writers basically agree with the statement that parks are not provided for hunting activities. Nevertheless, Van Tighem asserts that hunting in parks should be allowed under certain cases while Weis and Krajnc completely disagree with hunting and suggest people should let animals enjoy their natural life peacefully.