Wise-use wiseguys

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

Responding to a libel suit filed by
the the Western Canada Wilderness
Committee, the British Columbia Wildlife
Federation in late September withdrew the
fall edition of its Outdoor Edge magazine
from newsstands, and apologized via newspaper
ads distributed throughout B.C. for
“any suggesting” that WCWC “is engaged in
criminal acts or acts of terrorism in any of its
activities, including its current initiative,
‘An Act to prohibit the hunting of bears.’”
In an Outdoor Edge article, BCWF apparently
confused some leaders of WCWC with
members of Bear Watch, a Britsh Columbia
anti-hunting group which has been involved
in recent confrontational protests reportedly
led by David Barbarash, 31, and Darren
Thurston, 26, both of whom have been convicted
and done jail time for alleged Animal
Liberation Front activities including illegal
possession of explosives and related paraphernalia.

The financially struggling
National Rifle Association in midSeptember
closed its hunter services division,
suspended production of a weekly
cable TV show to save at least $310,000,
and laid off 30 members of its 400-member
staff. “Membership, which peaked at 3.5
million last year, has dropped by at least
400,000,” reported Barbara Vohejda of The
Washington Post. “The value of the organization’s
cash and investments has, over five
years, fallen from about $100 million to
about $42 million due to the construction of
a new headquarters. The NRA’s financial
statement for the end of 1995 indicates liabilities
exceed assets by $43.5 million.”
However, the NRA was expected to pour
money into the 1996 Congressional election
campaign to retain friendly seats won with
aid of $3.2 million in 1994 political gifts.
The Moorland Gamekeepers’
A s s o c i a t i o n in the Borders, England, on
October 1 urged members to invoke the Data
Protection Act to obtain any files on them
which may have been kept by the Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds and
turned over to police. The MGA and the
British Association of Shooting and
Conservation learned of the RSPB files
through the prosecution of several gamekeepers
for allegedly killing protected birds.
William J. Navratil, 49, who on
July 5, 1992, boasted of bludgeoning a
raccoon to death with a baseball bat and
reportedly showed off the carcass, was
recently reappointed to the city council in
Broadview Heights, Ohio. Navratil, previously
convicted of stealing a cannon from a
city park, won acquittal on a cruelty charge
plus a $7,000 settlement after suing public
officials for alleged malicious prosecution.
According to Cleveland Plain Dealer
reporter Ronald Rutti, “City documents
showed the city insurance companies
believed it was cheaper to settle than to try
the case.” Navratil did not run for re-election,
but regained a council seat after another
member resigned.

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