November is voting season for Americans.  As one of the longest running republics, Americans have a long history of going to the polls.  Many Americans don't do that however, and from time to time we hear calls for a mandatory voting process.  Whether this will result in different outcomes is debatable because in most elections people aren't voting based on an extensive research of candidates.  Indeed many will vote for someone because they like the way they style their hair, or perhaps they were at a function and a political candidate stopped and visited briefly with them.

This is especially true with local candidates like those running for school boards or maybe city council.  Sometimes the difference between a yes or no vote can be an off-hand comment that either offended or inspired.  In any event, people who vote for a candidate many times do so for less than logical reasons.    Whether forcing folks to go to the polls would result in a better outcome is open for debate.  I believe what we would more than likely get would be more people just guessing on who to vote for.

Another item which recently came across my desk deals with global warming.  Apparently, folks who don't buy the anthropogenic global warming headlines are more likely to conserve resources and have a lower carbon foot print than those who do subscribe to the headlines.

The authors speculated about the reasons, but it is interesting to note that while those who are most fearful about global warming are talking the talk, they are not walking the walk.  On the other hand those who don't fear global warming are busy getting by with less and doing so without need of laws or rules and regulations.   This fact seems to always be lost on those who feel ever more regulations must be added to the pile that is already there in order to accomplish some goal.  If folks who want others to sacrifice to help save the earth were actually walking the walk they would probably be taken more seriously.  Instead we hear actors like Leonardo DiCaprio talk about how we need to cut back on our carbon footprint while the tabloids print pictures of him on a tour of the globe with his girlfriend.  Leonardo doesn't stay at the budget places either.

The “got to have a regulation” idea is what the judge recently hung her hat on with the Wyoming wolf plan.  In her ruling the judge said that Wyoming needed something more than good intentions when it came to managing for wolf numbers.  Wyoming's plan was adequate for genetic connectivity as well as the trophy game/predator area, but the judge felt that Wyoming's commitment to management for over 10 breeding pairs or 100 wolves (i.e. a buffer of an additional 5 breeding pair or 50 wolves) needed to be stronger.  Wyoming responded by providing the stronger assurance, but the judge said nope, not good enough.  Of course no mention was made of the 95 wolves with 10 breeding pairs in Yellowstone.  Once again, we can see where the original concept of 10 breeding pair or 100 wolves in Wyoming for a legally recovered population has now morphed into 25 breeding pair or 250 wolves.  Of course another legal challenge of any new plan may see the number grow to 300 or more. 

And EPA wants us to trust them when it comes to interpreting their new “Waters of the U.S.” rules!

By Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President