Cast your vote for wildlife and wild places today

Today’s the day. Get out and vote. Some of the races this year might be pretty close, so your vote might make a big difference.

A couple of the offices up for grabs in this year’s election could have a real impact on Wyoming’s outdoors. Our lone seat in the House of Representatives, one of our Senate offices and the Governor’s Mansion are all up for grabs. I don’t think I need to tell you which of those races is really close. If you’ve been paying any attention over the last, oh, six or seven months, it goes without saying.

I don’t want to tell you how to vote. I think every voter should find out about the candidates, then make up his or her own mind.

Certainly the U.S. House and Senate and the Governor’s races are the most publicized. They’re also the ones that can have the biggest effect on our wildlife and wild places. If you haven’t been reading up on the candidates, find out as much as you can before you vote today. Try to get your information from as neutral a source as you can. Don’t listen to the candidates’ ads. In fact, don’t listen to ANY ads. All you’ll get from the ads is why you shouldn’t vote for the other guy. Nobody tells you what they stand for themselves anymore.

And you might think about voting for someone from a party other than your own. Don’t vote the party line just for the sake of supporting your party. Certainly vote for your party’s candidate if you think that person represents your interests best, but if the other candidate stands for the things you value, cast your vote accordingly.

Think about what’s at stake when it comes to the statewide offices. There have been pushes in Congress to sell off some of our public lands. Some folks would like to see bear baiting and trapping outlawed completely. And there are countless other issues that could have huge impacts on how we as sportsmen and women spend our free time.

You spend a lot of money on licenses and hunting and fishing equipment. Much of that money goes to pay for conservation. Don’t throw it all away. If you vote for candidates who value your wildlife and wild places, your money – and your vote – will be well spent.