In the words of country music star Luke Bryan, they’re hunting, fishing and loving every day.
Amendment E to the state constitution was passed on Tuesday, declaring hunting and fishing as the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife in Utah, Ballotpedia reports. With about 74% of Utah voters favoring the amendment, according to Fox 13, the right to hunt and fish is now protected.
The Associated Press reports that Republican lawmakers who proposed the change said it will ensure protection for hunting and fishing in the future, even if public sentiment turns against the outdoor sports.
"Hunting and fishing has always been a critical component of our state...It's a part of who we are,” said House Sponsor Rep. Casey Snider, said Ballotpedia. “This bill is not only about protecting who we are, but preserving who we are going forward.”
“It is not unforeseeable, and history bears this out, that 30 or 40 or 50 years from now, those participating in [hunting and fishing] will be a very significant minority, more so than they already are,” Snider argued. “It is not a foregone conclusion that these sort of activities will be eliminated from the public sphere and from conservation generally and at large.”
Nevertheless, Amendment E does not make the rights to the outdoor sports absolute, “as state laws and policies would still prohibit, for example, a convicted poacher from getting a hunting license,” reported Fox 13.
Utah joins 22 other states with constitutional provisions for the right to hunt and fish.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.