The MeatEater Guide to Conservation Activism

FILE - bear. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Hunting

The power of social media to create viral storm guidance to politicians continues to evidence itself on the internet.  This week, it’s hunters rallying over hunting in California. California State Senator Scott Weiner of San Francisco proposed S.B. 252 that sought to ban black bear hunting in the state.

The proposal raised an immediate response by a plethora of interests including the timber, livestock, beekeeping and agricultural industries in the Golden State. Per the US Standard Industry Code (SIC), the hunting and guide industry is part of the agricultural sector.

Sen. Weiner’s proposal sparked the ire of hunters. In the internet age, that activated high visibility hunting advocates like MeatEater.com, maker of the popular Netflix program of the same name starring hunter-conservationist Steven Rinella, to spring to action alongside Second Amendment and state hunting interests such as the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

The online opposition began to mount rapidly as online publishers and social media influencers raised their opposition.  A petition opposing S.B. 252 on Change.org was rapidly gathering steam nationwide.

On Feb 2, 2021, barely a week after introducing it, Sen. Weiner dropped the proposed bill prior to it being heard in committee.  According to the report published by MeatEater.com,

“As the COVID pandemic continues to ravage the state, Wiener believed “this isn’t the time to focus on this right now,” Catie Stewart, a spokesman for Sen. Wiener, told the Sacramento Bee on Monday. This news comes one week after the bill was introduced, before it was even considered in committee.”

In a follow up with MeatEater.com by Red State, it was noted that similar anti-hunting initiatives targeting bear hunting in other states are also appearing. They intend to monitor developments there as well.