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Idaho: battlefield of an easy victory for hunting and fishing rights amendment

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November 27, 2012


By Josh Altic

Boise, Idaho: The amendment to the Idaho Constitution making it a state protected right to hunt, fish and trap in Idaho was strongly approved by voters on election day, November 6. According to the Secretary of State website, 456,449 voters approved Amendment H.J.R. 2aa while only 165,334 voters rejected it. This gave the advocates of constitutional hunting and fishing rights an impressive super-majority of over 73% approbation.

Not only was the amendment very successful statewide, its approval was widespread over the whole state. With 65.3% of voters choosing No on this question, Blaine County was the only county in Idaho to reject the Amendment.[1] The sentiment of a large part of Idaho residents seems to mirror the words of Idaho Senator Lee Heider, who said, "We live here in Idaho because we like the outdoors ... and all this does is protects for future generations that ability to go out and hunt and fish or trap."[2]

There are those, however, who do not think that the amendment is this simple and will not be happy to hear of the peoples decision to adopt HJR 2. Some disapproved of the amendment on the grounds that it protected inhumane and cruel trapping methods but others, such as hunter and fisher Ned Horner, a resident of North Idaho, claim that there are even more troubling problems with the Amendment. Ned expressed concerns that this amendment might allow for the abuse and destruction of the outdoors instead of merely the protection of the right to enjoy it. He also spoke about a clause in the amendment concerning the diversion and use of water, saying,

Of even more concern is the section that reads “shall not affect rights to divert, appropriate and use water, or establish any minimum amount of water in any water body”. Why is this even in this amendment? My Constitutional right to fish or hunt is protected, but that means nothing if the stream is dry or the wetland has been drained. Many streams and rivers in southern Idaho are already so over appropriated with water rights that entire sections dry up each year (including the Snake River). This section gives Constitutional protection to whoever wants to use water for consumptive uses at the expense of the fish and wildlife that water now supports.[3][4]

The election result statistics quoted above are as yet unofficial. Ballotpedia's Idaho Hunting and Fishing Amendment, HJR 2 (2012) page will be updated as soon as the results are certified.

See also

Ballotpedia News


  1. Idaho voters OK hunt, fish, trap amendment
  2. Voters approve amendment on hunting and fishing
  3. Vote No on Hunting/Fishing Amendment to Save Hunting and Fishing
  4. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.