Sierra Club Director Paul Watson, one of the 15 National Directors of the Sierra Club, has resigned today from the National Board of the Sierra Club.
He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2003 for a three year term. His term ends May 17th, 2006.
Saying, "I won't fade quietly into the night," Watson tendered his resignation on April 17th, which is a month before his term expires to protest the use of Club resources to finance a sport hunting trip to encourage hunting.
Watson was not notified of a contest posted in January 2006. The contest is an essay competition entitled Why I Hunt?
The first prize is a $12,700 hunting trip to the Sportsman's Lodge in Alaska. Additional prizes totaling $3,000 will also be awarded.
"It appears to me that the Sierra Club should have better projects to spend $15,700 on than sending some nimrod to Alaska to shoot wildlife," said Watson. "Last year they turned down my request for a $5,000 grant to assist the rangers in the Galapagos National Park deal with poachers."
Watson last year protested the posting of pictures of Sierra Club leaders posing with their trophy kills on the Sierra Club website. Each year, the Club is spending over two hundred thousand dollars on hunter outreach programs despite the fact that less than 20% of the Sierra Club membership are hunters. Link: http://www.sierraclub.org/huntingfishing/whoweare.asp
Watson, who has been a Sierra Club member since 1968, thinks the Club is forgetting its role as a conservation organization. "This is John Muir's Sierra Club," he said, "It is not supposed to be the Sahara Club. You can't love nature with a gun."
Watson will not be attending his final Board meeting in San Francisco on May 17-20th.
"I have no intention of attending a meeting of a hunting club," said Watson. "I wonder how many of the Sierra Club's 750,000 members know and approve of killing animals with their contributions?"
Additional information about this subject is posted under the Commentary by Paul Watson entitled "Loving Nature with a Gun."