Long known as a bellwether state for trends and political movements, California has inflicted its hunters, sportsmen and wildlife professionals with prohibitions on mountain lion hunting, trapping of furbearers, use of hounds for bear and bobcat hunting, and the use of traditional lead-based ammunition for hunting.
There's plenty more.
West Hollywood recently became the first city to ban the sale of fur, and in 2012 the legislature voted to change the name of the state Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Not surprisingly, both actions were supported by anti-hunting groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
So it's really no surprise that last month USSA announced it was officially entering the West Coast lion's den to do head-to-head battle.
Its new office will be managed by Michael Flores, who served as president of the California Fish and Game Commission from 2000-2007, was chairman of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and was a director on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's national board from 2000-2006. He currently is Vice Chairman on the USA Shooting Foundation Board of Directors and has held numerous other esteemed roles including Secretary of Foreign Affairs for California.
Within weeks after assuming his new duties in Sacramento, Flores announced the formation of the Al Taucher Conservation Coalition (ATCC) to educate and inform California citizens on conservation issues. Taucher, a former Fish and Game Commissioner, encouraged the formation of a committee of sportsmen and women to help drive policy to the Fish and Game Commission.
"Members of this coalition represent the top conservation groups throughout the state," Flores said. "I am happy that USSA's newly formed West Coast operation will provide a proactive platform for ATCC to succeed."
ATCC coalition members include: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Waterfowl Association, Trout Unlimited, California Deer Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation, California Rifle and Pistol Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Wilderness Unlimited, The Sportfishing Conservancy, Mule Deer Foundation, California Coalition of Diving Advocates, NRA Members Council, The Hunt for Truth Association, California Bowhunters Association, California Farm Bureau, National Open Field Coursing Association, Quail Forever, Pheasants Forever, and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.