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Conservation should

present a common front

It has always been my belief that providing adequate habitat for Missouri’s wildlife is a cooperative effort between both private and public landholders. However, a recent decision by the Missouri Department of Conservation appears to me to be both arbitrary and capricious. They have quadrupled the amount of acreage needed to obtain a no-cost landowner tag for hunting. This is a slap in the face to all of us who appreciate the privilege and obey its stipulations.

This change was allegedly based on several factors, with which I disagree:

1. The public input was supplied primarily by an “online” survey instead of a larger sampling that might have had a more diverse representation of opinion.

2. Any questionnaire can easily have the results skewed to represent a particular point of view, either by the wording or the inclusion/exclusion of certain questions of statements.

3. The 35 percent of violations attributed to the landowner tags could at least in part be due to the circumstances of the smaller acreage violators themselves. They would almost certainly be easier to catch than violators on larger acreage plots.

4. Many of the larger plots are farmed from fence line to fence line and are not suitable habitat for wildlife, and thus may rely on smaller holdings nearby for cover and nesting space.

5. While I do support the registration of landowners for this purpose, in the interest of fairness, if these landowner tags are really such a problem, then I would suggest they all be abolished.

In these days of increased pressure by anti-gun and anti-hunting groups, the MDC would be better served by presenting a common front instead of alienating a small but important faction of the hunting community.

Thomas Meehan

St. Joseph

U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria was a betrayal

President Donald Trump’s latest decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in northeast Syria is an unforgivable betrayal!

More than 10,000 Kurds have died in combat. ISIS was nearly destroyed with fewer than 500 American casualties. The Kurds were the spearhead of our fighting forces.

After Trump’s decision to pull out nearly all of our combat forces, immediately, Turkish “strongman dictator” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a series of attacks, including bombing our allies.

Even Trump’s most ardent Republican senators, headed up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, labeled Trump’s decision an awful one, and a betrayal.

In my opinion, Trump has shown that he will not back our allies. That message is loud and clear to the whole world now.

We’ve lost our allies now. In the future, the United States must go it alone. Just another awful mistake by this immoral, psychopathic excuse for a president. A mistake that will cost the lives of men, women and children. Trump has left these brave fighters to die. Erdogan has stated that nothing will stop the Turks from destroying nearly all the Kurds.

Trump has never met a bloody, power-mad dictator he didn’t love, i.e., Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Erdogan. You can sum up Trump in three words: liar, coward and outlaw.

God help us all in the future! God bless and save America.

John Ray Hoffman

St. Joseph