New law would ban bias offenders from public wilderness

All people should have equal opportunities and access to the outdoors. This should be the law in every state.

When Chad Brown, Navy veteran, and fly fisherman, parked his car before setting out to a river, he never expected he’d return to find his brake lines cut. But they had been.

Oregon’s Senate Energy and Environment Committee has approved legislation that safeguards the public from bias and hate crimes committed on public lands. People convicted of a bias crime on public lands or waters will not be allowed in those areas for up to five years.

Their permits, licenses, and tags would be revoked for the same period for crimes committed while angling, taking shellfish, hunting, or trapping.

LINK (via: The Observer)

One thought on “New law would ban bias offenders from public wilderness

  1. Flashback 30-odd years to the mid 1980s.

    Location: a very fine, extremely exclusive stretch of a minor (in some people’s eyes) chalkstream.

    Time Etc: A glorious summer’s afternoon in, say, late June or early July (my diary of the time would supply the exact date).

    So, there I was upstream dry fly fishing with my very early model 4-piece 5-weight graphite Sage (one of only a very very few in Britain back then) and 3-inch Hardy-made Porvis Battenkill (still have both in a cupboard somewhere), when the place was “invaded” by Indians, real Indian Indians).

    At least seven and probably eight or even nine of them. Mid-thirties dressed Mum in blue Levis, Hi-Tech walking shoes and plaid shirt, Grandma(x2?) in an eye-sockingly bright elegant sari, late-thirties Dad in Levis etc like his wife, ditto three long-haired little girls and their 10-year-old brother.

    We exchanged smiles and “Good afternnoon” and “Lovely day” pleasantries, perhaps even got to talking about what I was doing “I’m flyfishing for trout…”. I might even have showed the children a flybox or two and got some “Oh! How pretty!”s from the girls by wave of a response.

    Then, after few more minutes of chatting, they continued on their Sunday afternoon walk in the Hampshire countryside, and I continued my scouting for rising wild browns.

    It was twenty minutes or so before my Izaak Walton-esque bucolic idyll ended, when the police arrived on the bankside meadow, in a Range Rover with its blue lights flashing, heading downstream across the mown hay-crop grass.

    “Seen any Indians?” a police officer leant out of its window to ask me. “Someone phoned from the [local, thatched-cottage] village to tell us that there was a gang of them on the river….”

    I could see where this was going … trespassers on private land that had to be given a strict talking to then told to leave….

    “It’s not what you think. It’s a very middle-class Indian family from XYZ [a nearby large town] out on a weekend country walk … He’s a doctor, she’s a pharmacist….”

    “They shouldn’t be down here … they should’ve stuck to the footpatch up there…”

    “Can I join you you two officers in the vehicle and chat to them with you when we find them? They’ve no clue about private land and trespassing … they don’t know that just by walking along the river here they’re breaking our English laws…”

    It ended very nicely twenty minutes or so later. I even got to practice my very rusty Hindi on a clearly astonished and simply delighted and broadly smiling Granny (or two).

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