The Humane Society of the United States spoke out today against a proposal to build a $15 million combination automobile and natural history museum on riverfront property owned by the city of Sacramento.
The project is the brainchild of auto sales magnate Paul Snider and his wife Renee, a wealthy couple who have asked the city for permission to buy land worth $1.25 million upon which to build a 178,000-square-foot museum that would house classic autos along with their hunting trophies.
The letter takes issue with Renee Snider's description of big game trophies as "educational tools," and states they have no place in a museum.
"Destroying wild animals for the thrill of the kill, for trophies, and for bragging rights is anything but good for the world," the letter reads. "We share Renee Snider's awe of the 'beauty of wildlife,' but feel that awe is best shown through shooting them through lenses, not gun barrels."
The two-page letter also says the city would be selling valuable riverfront property too cheap, and suggests the attractions at the museum would be unlikely to draw many visitors.
"A hybrid auto/dead animal museum seems unlikely to generate enough foot traffic over time to be sustainable. We also question the rationale for the city selling this property for $1.25 million - which seems an exceptionally low price for such valuable property."
The proposal will be discussed before the city's Planning and Design Commission tonight. After the meeting, the society will decide its next move, wrote Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society's California senior state director in an emailed statement.
"We will decide how much opposition to engage after assessing the commission's discussion and thoughtfulness of this issue tonight, but we feel confident this museum is not the right fit for the waterfront or anywhere else in Sacramento," the statement read.