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Hunting and fishing will get constitutional protection in Utah under Amendment E

Children walk the shore as residents spend time fishing at Willow Pond Park in Murray on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – Amendment E, which would protect the right to hunt and fish in the Utah constitution, is likely to pass by a wide margin. 

Utah State Representative Casey Snider (R-Paradise) helped put Amendment E on the ballot. 

He agrees that hunting and fishing are less popular than they were before. 

However, he thinks the rights of hunters and fishers need to be protected as social attitudes change. 

“The ability to procure for your family food or fiber through hunting and fishing is an essential part of us. And making sure that if those activities are limited or curtailed, there is a higher threshold,” Snider says. 

Rep. Snider also believes hunting and fishing are important for Utah’s conservation efforts. 

“As hunting and angling slides out, you lose that ethic that comes with participating in those sports, but also the conservation dollars. Hunters and anglers pay for wildlife, and they pay for conservation. And if those opportunities are eliminated, the wildlife themselves are going to suffer in the end,” Snider says. 

Even though hunting and fishing will be constitutionally protected activities, people will still have to follow anti-poaching and other regulations. 

“In terms of wildlife management and hunting and fishing opportunity, it’s going to be the exact same as before,” Snider says. “This isn’t going to fundamentally change anything, but it is going to fundamentally protect something that is critical to this state.” 

Conservationists, however, largely oppose Amendment E. 

They believe hunting and fishing can endanger vulnerable species of animals and the ecosystem. 

Utah on track to pass most of its amendments on the 2020 ballot