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

Hal Michael ucd880 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 5 18:45:41 PST 2014


I agree with Kelly in that the consumptive users have footed the conservation bill through licenses, DJ and PR taxes, Duck Stamps, etc. Also note the amount of land Ducks Unlimited, for example, has purchased/restored/etc. While DU, along wit Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and a myriad of other consumptive user groups have funded that when you preserve habitat for (say) ducks you preserve habitat for a myriad of non-hunted species. 
It is also worth noting that preserving species for consumptive use you must, by definition, have more of them than if you simply wanted enough around to see, appreciate, and photograph. 
WDFW has a broad mandate and very limited funding sources. The legislature is being hit with McLeary and other court decisions that demand more and more money. It will take dedicated funding sources to even keep WDFW afloat.
 
 
Hal Michael
Olympia WA
360-459-4005 (H)
360-791-7702 (C)
ucd880 at comcast.net

----- Original Message -----



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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