[Tweeters] Slightly off topic, but relevant: Editorial in today's Olympian regarding WDFW Executive Director position

Kelly McAllister mcallisters4 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 5 17:45:54 PST 2014

I came upon a friend today who retired after 35 years working for the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I worked there for over 26
years, mostly in the Nongame Program (Wildlife diversity Division). We
talked about the Olympian editorial. My friend made a point about the
reaction within the Department of Fish and Wildlife, after the economic
downturn of 2008, which essentially looked to orient its primary work toward
the interests of those who pay the bills. It's primarily the people who buy
hunting and fishing licenses and those who buy guns and ammo
(Pittman-Robertson) or fishing gear (Dingell-Johnson) that pay for the
agency's activities. There is funding that derives from personalized license
plates that is ear-marked for the management non-hunted, non-fished wildlife
but it is, to my understanding, increasingly unimportant in the greater
scheme of funding levels. So, when the agency is faced with dire budget
scenarios, and decides to establish its priorities so they meet the
interests of those who pay the bills, it's not too surprising that thousands
of nongame species get relegated to a lower priority level. I think that
those with an interest in seeing the state fish and wildlife agency more
engaged in the conservation of biodiversity need to find a funding source
that will make the department more accountable to that interest.

I saw a Red-tailed Hawk with a blue petagial tag in the Skagit Valley
yesterday. I learned about the translocation and marking of hawks captured
at SeaTac airport, something I didn't know about.

Kelly McAllister

Olympia, Washington

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