Hunter Support Needed
By Joe Becker
California Bowmen Hunters
The California Bowmen Hunters / State Archery Association (CBA/SAA) is very concerned with how a property newly purchased by the State Parks Department will be designated — as a recreation area, as a reserve or as a park. The outcome of this will determine whether or not hunting is allowed. Your help is needed to influence this decision.

This property is known as Peace Valley and is located in the middle of Sacramento Valley’s Sutter Buttes (known by many as the smallest mountain range in the world). The purchase included 1,785 acres of land on which live many species of wildlife. Several of these species are non-native to California. One in particular is causing much damage to the vegetation — wild pigs. Other non-native species include wild turkey, red fox, and bull frogs (which I did not realize were non-native to California until I read the State Parks survey information on this area).

Until the Parks Department purchased the property, it had been privately owned and managed. Many people in past years hunted the area with permission from the landowner, keeping the wildlife in control. We all know the wildlife management policy for land in California designated as "park" property is that hired hunters do the killing of unwanted species there. If the land is listed as a recreation area, however, the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) manages the wildlife and controls wildlife populations there by using licensed hunters under hunting regulations.

In a letter mailed to Parks Department in January 2004, California Bowmen Hunters / State Archery Association requested this newly purchased property be designated as a recreation area rather than a park. In the property survey report for naming, it does not even list a recreation area as an option — it lists only a park or reserve.

The Parks Department has been requesting depredation permits from the DFG to kill the pigs. The DFG has been resisting, stating the area is huntable for pig management with public licensed hunters. My understanding is that Sutter County Supervisors and their County Fish & Game Commission also favor public use and management of this property. On March 29th, this land is scheduled for discussion at our County Supervisors meeting in Yuba City.

The request that is being made by CBH/SAA is for all sportspeople to oppose the naming of this property as a park or reserve (I believe that a reserve is more restrictive than a park), but instead to name it a recreation area or any other listing the Parks Department has which will enable the DFG to continue to manage the wildlife on this property. We agree the pigs must be killed for management purposes, the only question is do we use licensed hunters on special hunts or let the Parks Department pay hired hunters to kill them? With California in debt up to its ears, why spend more of our tax dollars with bad wildlife management? This is an ideal time and location to turn around this policy of hiring paid hunters to kill our wildlife.

The State Parks & Recreation Commission has scheduled a public hearing for April 8, 2005, to be held in the first-floor Auditorium at the California Resources Building located at 1416 Ninth Street in Sacramento. The naming of this property is one of the items on the agenda. It is vital that we have people there who will support this position.

For information to help you understand our request of opposing paid hunters for pig management by the Parks Department, you may read or print out their study by going to their website at Then move to the search window in the upper right corner of the page, and type in Sutter Buttes and click go. This will bring up information on the Sutter Buttes property. Included in it you will find another site which will provide you with the study report, public hearing site for the Park Commission and at the bottom a the following contact email address for added information, or phone (916) 653-0524. You may also write to the following address: State Park and Recreation Commission, P.O.Box 942896 Sacramento, CA. 94296-0001.

I have talked to Mr. Mike Fehling in Chico with the Parks Department who stated he has as much info on the area as any employee — phone (530) 895-4304. Or Mr. Andy Atkinson, a DFG employee at Gray Lodge who has been a contact person on the park property for DFG, phone (530) 846-7500.

In addition to the Public Hearing on April 8th at 9 a.m. in Sacramento, there is a meeting scheduled on April 7th at 12:30 p.m. at Gray Lodge’s Conference Room. The public is welcome, but no testimony will be allowed that day.

I am the appointed Sutter Buttes Park Committee person for CBH/SAA’s volunteer Legislative Team. My name is Joe Becker, I live in Yuba City, you may phone me at (530) 751-7767 or email with any questions you have. God willing, I will be attending all three meetings — Sutter County Supervisors, Gray Lodge meeting and the Public Hearing. I will be requesting the property be named a Recreation Area with wildlife management under the supervision of the Department of Fish & Game and using public licensed hunters for required management of the pigs. Please support our hunting tradition by acting on this request.
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