Unions and Conservative Conservation Group Hook Up

A number of unions have decided to join forces with a hunters’ club to push the Bush Administration toward conservation (and good luck with that right off the bat).

In a first-of-its-kind alliance that could fundamentally reshape the environmental movement, 20 labor unions with nearly 5 million members are joining forces with a Republican-leaning umbrella group of conservationists — the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership — to put pressure on Congress and the Bush administration.The Union Sportsman’s Alliance, to be rolled out in Washington on Tuesday after nearly three years of quiet negotiations, is to be a dues-based organization ($25 a year). Its primary goal is to increase federal funding for protecting wildlife habitat while guaranteeing access for hunters and anglers.

The unlikely marriage of union and conservation interests comes at a time when the Bush administration, with its push for oil and gas drilling in the Rocky Mountain West, has limited public access to prime hunting and fishing areas on federal land. This has triggered a bipartisan backlash from sportsmen and conservation groups, as well as from Western politicians in both parties.

They’re pissing into the wind. The ulta-rightists and corporate lapdogs of the Bush Administration are about as likely to swap coal, oil, and gas exploration for hunting and fishing as Ann Coulter is to swap her miniskirts for a nun’s habit. It ain’t gonna happen. Continue reading