- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, one of the leading hunting/fishing/trapping advocacy groups in the nation, says one of the country's biggest economy hotel chains has entered into an agreement with one of the largest animal rights organizations.

Accor Economy Lodging, the parent company of Motel 6, Red Roof Inns and Studio 6, is actively promoting Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) programs "Pets for Life," and "Disaster Recovery." It comes as no surprise that the Sportsmen's Alliance has its hackles raised. The HSUS is a virulent anti-hunting, animal rights group.

Accor's director of communications, Gayle Colston Barge, told the Sportsmen's Alliance that the business has "elected to officially contribute to and support" the HSUS programs and added that it is "proud to support the efforts of the Humane Society of the United States."

That really ticked off the Alliance.

"When you support an organization, you support everything it stands for, not just the parts that you think are good," Sportsmen's Alliance President Bud Pidgeon said. "Accor Economy Lodging needs to realize that HSUS is also promoting anti-sportsman issues and continues to work to end America's hunting heritage and other forms of animal use."

Incidentally, despite its name, HSUS does not oversee any local animal shelters or societies.

The Alliance reminds hunters and anglers to stay away from Motel 6, Red Roof Inns and Studio 6 motels when on a trip, and it asks that they express their dissatisfaction with Accor Economy Lodging's promotion of the HSUS by contacting George Le Mener, president and CEO, Accor Economy Lodging, P.O. Box 809092, Dallas, TX, 75380-9092; phone 972/386-6161; fax: 972/702-5996.

But the Sportsmen's Alliance isn't finished with tackling the HSUS. A popular business that allows children to create their own stuffed animals is running a promotion to help fund the animal rightists' agenda. The sportsmen are warning hunters and anglers not to spend money at the Build-A-Bear Workshop, a business that plays host to parties at which children create their own teddy bears and other animals. The company says it will donate $1 from the sale of every black labrador stuffed dog that is assembled to the Humane Society of the United States.

The business/animal rights partnership is being promoted through an ad that reads, "Make a new stuffed puppy and help save a real puppy!"

"This promotion is being run as if the HSUS actually spends its time and money helping pets," Pidgeon said. "Build-A-Bear Workshop must realize that HSUS does not run any cat or dog shelters in this country. In fact, only a very small percentage of its enormous $65 million income went toward programs directly helping [pets] in 2000."

Pidgeon says America's sportsmen should be outraged. It urges you to contact Build-A-Bear Workshop's CEO Maxine Clark, 888/560-2327. Comments can be sent to Clark at 1954 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63114; fax 314/423-8188.

To learn more about the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, call 614/888-4868; fax 614/888-0326, or visit its Web site, www.ussportsmen.org; e-mail [email protected]

Now here's a governor Try to imagine seeing a magazine photo of Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening sitting in the woods in camouflage clothing, shotgun in hand, hoping a wild turkey comes close enough to aim at so perhaps he could bring home a sumptuous dinner. It isn't going to happen, is it? But in West Virginia it's no big deal for that state's chief executive.

The Summer 2002 issue of West Virginia Wildlife shows Gov. Bob Wise, scattergun held at eye level, in the company of state turkey calling champ Brian Given. Both men are camouflaged to the hilt. The governor is typical of the Mountain State's people. He likes hunting and encourages it. Conversely, Marylanders have a man who might as well come out and say that he's an animal rights activist. Not only that, in the same issue, West Virginia director of the Department of Natural Resources Ed Hamrick is seen gun in hand and in the company of a hunting dog. Hamrick wrote a fine first-person article about his passion for hunting. Wonder if we'll ever see that from Glendening appointee J. Charles Fox, the new Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report every Friday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com.

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