The bottom line is that in the social media world we live in - we now know that mental diarrhea rises and nuanced, learned debate falls. Calls to burn everything to ground rank higher than stories about a diplomat who can speak 7 languages and negotiated a peace settlement. The falconry community needs to basically grow a pair, and tell the truth about who we are and where we came from. Even if that means losing a few hundred political zealots in our ranks. NAFA (or any state club) isn't a pure representative organization bending to the whims of whatever ideology pays dues - it is a member organization with a clear mission: "to encourage the proper practice of the sport of falconry and the wise use and conservation of birds of prey."

As such, it has not only made huge strides in that mission, but one could argue the NAFA legacy is a model. You would be hard pressed to show any other example of a stakeholder member organization that worked with officials to create a continent-wide framework for a practice that had no context in existing law and was generally opposed by majority of environmental stakeholder voices. In just 50 years, they shepherded what was essentially an illegal practice with no historical roots in NA, to a legally entrenched sport continent-wide. The trajectory has been the gradual liberalization of rules as trust and understanding has grown. Personal attacks directed at NAFA leadership are pathological in the face of this legacy (nevermind 99% of the attacks are factually/historically wrong). At worst its a positive trend of effective rational advocacy with the agencies. At worst! At best, NAFA has been one of the premier voices in raptor conservation.

Most people make choices based on their own financial stability and their own political beliefs. Few have the mental constitution to advocate for the greater good of a larger mission beyond themselves. We call those people leaders. I side with the leaders that follow the mission with passion and dedication. Most of the naysayers couldnt negotiate a tree trimming with their neighbors...never mind a continent-wide wildlife policy.