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Paralyzed Veterans of America Fight for Traditional Hunting Grounds

US Republican efforts to encroach on parklands have taken an interesting turn. Congress is currently battling over a last-minute addition to a defense spending bill that would interfere with preservation plans for Santa Rosa Island, a 53000-acre island in Southern California.

The National Park Service wants hunting on the island to end by 2011, with nonnative animals, brought to the island by hunters, to be moved. The Republicans, however, want to the hunting on the island preserved for the sake of "paralyzed" and "severely disabled" veterans:
"This is a wonderful opportunity for paralyzed veterans and severely disabled veterans to have an opportunity for a high-quality outdoor experience," said Hunter, who chairs the Armed Services Committee.

We all know that only those with hearts of stone would deny wheelchair-bound veterans their chance to execute lower lifeforms, but could it be that money, rather than compassion, is at the root of the tacked-on legislation? The hunts apparently cost $1800 to $17000, most likely unaffordable to the average vet.

An official with the organization Paralyzed Veterans of America, however, maintained that the island plays a vital role to disabled vets and added his voice in support of keeping game animals on the island:
"It adds so much to have them here," Warren said. "Otherwise what are you going to look at?"

Source: Forbes

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