Endangered animal protections
Oregon isn't the first place that leaps to mind in a discussion of animal poaching. But the backers of this measure make a persuasive if anecdotal case that the state is becoming a supply hub for elephant ivory, rhinoceros horns and lion genitals.
That's partly because of our location—a port on the Pacific Rim positions traffickers to fill Asian demand for folk cures—but it's also because Oregon has no laws against selling products made from endangered or threatened wildlife. California and Washington both passed laws banning such sales in the past two years, but an Oregon bill was stymied by opposition from the National Rifle Association.
And so to the ballot, with a measure that would create state fines for anyone who gets caught selling the parts of 12 species, including sea turtles, cheetahs and the spiny anteater. Penalties go up to $6,500 or twice the value of the product. The "getting caught" part is the sticky bit: The measure includes no funding for criminal investigators, so it's hard to imagine it taking a significant bite out of the ivory trade.
But at worst, this is a measure that would make sport hunters think twice before trying to sell their big-game trophies. (It doesn't ban possession, so you won't have to worry about your ivory key chain.) At best, it could discourage international traffickers from making a home base here. Score one for Cecil the Lion, and vote yes.