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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I admit that I haven't read everything about everything but I have believed for a long time that the game departments of many states are engaged, primarily, in political nest building based on the philosophy of long term preservation of the resources("This preservationist………… is very unsympathetic to human needs or interests. They tend to view people as apart from nature rather than a part of nature and view themselves as non-consumptive users (how is this possible?)."see Clayton White , past president of the Yukon Fish and Game Association, a director of the Canadian Wildlife Federation……) to the detriment of those of us who foot the bill.

I don't wholly blame the game depts., instead I believe that the legislature is primarily to blame for creating the department and then allowing them to create their own rules thereby setting us up to answer to them instead of the other way around. (Rep. Jim Buck of Wash. is well documented re: this).

Using the following definitions provided Dr. Bruce Morito what is your philosophical position? and do you agree with me about the game depts?

No waste --in which nature is "wasted" unless it is used; the land has value only for what man can make of it or get out of it, and if we are to use it, then nothing must be wasted. From this notion, comes the settler ethics of "breaking the land" or "taming the west" in a "waste not, want not" sort of way.

Wise use --in which there is an attempt to balance conservation with the demands of user groups (the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people over a long period of time).

Preservationist --in which nature is to be protected to ensure ecosystem sustainability and biodiversity. Proponents would lobby for park systems and protected areas in the midst of development.

Preservationist in the long term --in which people and their machines are excluded entirely forever.

Dr. Bruce Morito is an Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Centre for Global and Social Analysis and has been working at Athabasca University since 1998. Dr. Morito led workshop participants through the history of how western philosophy and science thought of "conservation".

"Many go fishing without knowing it is fish they are after."
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
 

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Corky king, not to sure about philosophy, but the legislature sure has overstepped their bounds in a lot of WDFW business. The biggest mistake they ever made and one that will probably never take care of itself is having our license and tag fees go into the general fund. :mad: That killed funding for enforcement as well as conservation and preservation issues. Until they are made to look at what is happening to our natural resources the old partisan game will continue. I wish they would get out and talk to every one that uses the resource and not just those that can afford to get an ear with them.
 

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My experience has been weighted heavily towards to the "wise use" approach from ODFW.

I agree with Steelheadheadslayer, the Leiglature has overstepped it's bounds in Oregon, too, in my opinion.

My state Representative is an attorney that advertised to car accident victims on the back of the Medford phone book! :hoboy: I don't want him involved in ODFW, he has no background or experience in fish and game issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Let me propose that as crazy and flawed as our representatives may be, they still answer to us if we are vigilant. I'm reminded of a line by Bill Cosby - "I brought you into this world, I can take you out."

I further propose that fish and wildlife employees are largely taught in college the "long term preservationist" philosophy wherein the wants, needs and desires of the people paying the bill are ignored without consequence. Oh sure they have their little meetings and occasionally give just an inch when our ire is raised but they slam the door shut at every excuse.

The sad thing is that so many of us have bought the party line. I bought the party line too for a long time until after years of seeing things go against us time after time after time I've come to the realization that I'm being conned.

This isn't my fish and game dept. maybe it's yours but it's not what I want.

If I could, I would ask the voters, by initiative, to disband the WDFW. Fire everyone and rehire based on their idea of service to the public.
 

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I admit that I haven't read everything about everything but I have believed for a long time that the game departments of many states are engaged, primarily, in political nest building based on the philosophy of long term preservation of the resources
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I don't agree with the "nest-building" theory but I do strongly agree with the long-term preservation of the resource and I'll explain why. Animals can't survive politics. Your and my time on this earth is very short in the grand scheme of things. Any political push can and does wreak havoc to "Nature". Since political thoughts sway in wide pendulums over time any one thought is only relevant for a very short time in history. One example is sturgeon stocks. Two hundred years ago humans had very little impact on the species in North America. With civilization comes degradation. What we are charged with is protecting and maintaining what we have at a minimum and perhaps turning back some damage. Sturgeon populations were decimated at the beginning of the 20th century primarily because they were "in the way" of salmon fishermen. The slaughter of a few years collapsed the population. Had it been allowed to continue we wouldn't have any sturgeon now. After the stopping of the over-fishing it took most of 50 years to recover the population enough to sustain the current fisheries. This was not a return to previous stock levels, but enough to fish over them again. We are again putting a greater pressure on the population than they can sustain. Because of it we have shorter and shorter retention seasons and again sturgeon are starting to be politically manipulated to the detriment of biology. A political decision that can in a few years destroy what takes generations of humans to fix has no business happening to begin with. Our great-great grandchildren have as much right to them being here as we do. Preservationists think in 100's of years, not 10's of years.

They tend to view people as apart from nature rather than a part of nature and view themselves as non-consumptive
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I'm not sure what is meant by this statement. I am a consumtive user and I want to make sure those imaginary great-great grandchildren can be too.

.... to the detriment of those of us who foot the bill.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I foot the bill as much as anybody else. I am not exempt from taxes and fees and licenses.

I further propose that fish and wildlife employees are largely taught in college the "long term preservationist" philosophy wherein the wants, needs and desires of the people paying the bill are ignored without consequence.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">We are taught that in college. We are insuring that people can't ignore the needs of the animals and the land without consequence.

Oh sure they have their little meetings and occasionally give just an inch when our ire is raised but they slam the door shut at every excuse.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">The very problem with management is the requirement to ignore biology in favor of politics. Again, these politics can and will change over and over again. We try to make sure something survives those changes.

It is an interesting issue and I would like to read more opinions. Today’s opinions WILL have an impact one way or the other on animals and the land. I would like to hear how people stand on the stewardship of it. Thanks for putting up a thought-provoking question.
 

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O.K., I'm confused. Is there somthing wrong with long-term preservation of the resources? Based on my experience, too much emphasis is being places on sociological concerns (trying to keep too many people [usually vocal hunters and anglers] happy), rather than biological concerns (what is best not only for the individual species, but for the ecosystem that supports it). I also think the philosophy of fish and wildlife managers differs greatly from that of fish and game commissions and/or the politicians who appointed them. Most of the biologists I know try to do a thoughtful job for the species they are charged with managing, as well as attempting to balance the conflicting viewpoints of the public.
My personal opinions are even more radical - the best way to ensure that the ecosystems survive our "manhandling" of them is to adopt the principles of negative population growth.
 

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Let's look at this in a different light for a minute.

If we were to finance the ODF&W and WDFW other than liscense and tag sale's, would fish and wildlife be managed differently?

Just a thought.
 

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rebell: What do you mean? Do you think that the money source is a driving factor? How do you think it would be different under different spending scenarios? Would it be a bad thing or a good thing? Is it the job of resource managers to integrate human activity to the detriment of biology ,is it imperative that they choose humans over animals? Is it better to deny humans over the land? How would YOU draw the lines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Slowpie:
My personal opinions are even more radical - the best way to ensure that the ecosystems survive our "manhandling" of them is to adopt the principles of negative population growth.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Hooray Hooray!! You have my vote!
 

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STG Rule,

Like I said, just a thought. Would things be managed differently? I think some management policies might be different.

I feel that ODF&W is to dependent on liscense and tag sales. I have alway's felt that if we could find a better way of funding our fishery managers, some better choices might have been made over the years.
 

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The problem with labels is they often carry secondary meanings. "Wise Use", for example, was the term used during the James Watt days by groups who wanted to expand oil and gas exploration and drilling in National Monuments and Wilderness areas. Using terms like that can muddy the discussion.
 

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I do feel the politics that sway Fish & Game Dept's come from well funded powerful special interest groups. Logging companies, commercial fishing, ect, ect. While there is a "voice" of the sportsman, it is often not paid much due.

Which brings me to a side point. Why any govt. could not see the huge benefit of developing a world class sports fishery that would pour in millions into local economies vs appeasing a few large commerical outfits will always escape me. See above paragraph.

As far as the culture of the Fish & Game Depts. My dad is a retired wildlife biologist for the state of Texas, spent 30 years there. Towards the end his biggest complaint was the "new generation" of biologist coming into the dept.

For most of his career his coworkers were avid hunter/fishers and cared a great deal about the recreational oppurtunities afforded to the general public(themselves included).

I can still remember him being absolutely blown away to find out some of the new hires did not hunt or fish. He felt it was a slippery slope to have people directly involved with the game laws, be people who had nothing to loose/gain in process.

He would also complain bitterly about the micromangement of resources leading to overly complicated game laws and worried that if the Fish & Game were seen as against the average sportsman it would be a sad day.

This might be paranoia, but I think I share this paranoia.

Joe
 

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If it makes you feel any better most of the people I work with fish (all but one) and more than half hunt. And they are mostly kids. Well kids to me but they are under 30. Even the ones that don't hunt or fish are forced by the dynamics of the starting position jobs to interact on a daily basis with hunters and fishers. I don't know anybody that has no experience with consumptive users. Although sometimes because of the interaction we get jaded. Sometimes I just want to wring some necks over the "me, me, mine, mine" attitudes. I would definitely put myself in the long-term preservationist category because I think about how things should be in the future, not just right now.

[ 09-20-2003, 07:57 AM: Message edited by: STGRule ]
 

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I like the way you think, STG.

I have experienced so much enjoyment and satisfaction from the outdoors that I can't imagine not doing my best to see that these opportunities remain viable for future generations.

Too many selfish people are a whole lot of our problems, on may issues, in my opinion.

I interact daily with 'sportsmen' and am at times embarassed at the attitudes of many of them.
 

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Sport fisheries don't get paid attention very much? Better take a good look at the harvest allocation of sport v.s. commercial. It is completely lopsisded towards sport interests. Examples? Columbia River; Sturgeon= 80% sport 20% commercial, Spring Chinook= approx 70% sport 30% commercial, Summer Chinook 100% sport, Fall Chinook= Bouy 10 alone (not including the bloodbath taking place up the river to Portland) had an allocation of 18900 Chinook for sport fishing while the commercials were stopped at 8100 fish for the area from B10 to the about the Lewis. Add harvest from the Longview to Portlands hogline fishery and I think you can figure it out. Summer steelhead= 100% sport, Winter steelhead= 100% sport. Coastal estuaries and rivers= 100% sport.

How anyone could look at these allocations and think the sport fisherman is disreguarded is beyond me.

The Pacific Northwest region is a very populated place. But the overwhelming majority of its population do not participate in hunting and fishing activities. But they too are stakeholders and fellow stewards of our public fish and wildlife resources. So why would it make sense to only employ people who fish or hunt. Those who don't and who choose to work in the field and accept its compensation probably care deeply about the resource. Tunnel vision within these agencies would be terrible for the resource.

It is not just the hunter or fisherman that pays the bill for state and federal F&W positions but a huge myriad of sources including electricity rate payers, state and federal income tax payers, non-profit foundations, county governments ect. Why would you believe that all the work done by these agencies is on the back of your tag dollar. Hunters and fisherman are not the only constituents that managers answer to or are paid by. The entire public gets say so. That is a good thing for the long term.

Fire and rehire? I think that is a little too succinct. I think the real meaning is fire and rehire based on what hunters and fisherman soley want. I'd vote no.

If we were to just go back to the way things were done 30 years ago we would be in some deep trouble. Situations are complicated and change over time and if that requires more and more complexity in the regulations in order not to overlook biological diferences we are treading on then I am for it. If folks aren't willing to put the time in to understanding the rules then I'd say they should look for a recreation method that doesn't leave a footprint on anything. They will get no respect from me.

I figure I am a mix of all five of the paradigms listed. They all have some good aspects and some bad.
 

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Well said, Fishbulb.

I've been an observer of fish & wildlife politics for a long time and for several years had a keen interest in ODFW...attended 72 commission meetings...and a lot of other less formal public meetings & workshops.

One common criticism people throw at ODFW (and probably WDFW, too) is "We come and testify but you don't listen to us". I think the agency and the commission DO listen...if anything, they pay disproportionate attention to the squeaky wheel when its Joe Q. Sportsman complaining. But there are often valid reasons for the present situation and reasons why proposed changes won't work...reasons not apparent to casual observers. Listening to complaints and doing what is requested are two different things.

Most people have little understanding of the funding mechanisms (ODFW gets about 40% of its funds from license & tag sales) and has little appreciation for the myriad state & federal laws and regs that apply...nor for the everpresent political pressure brought to bear. State politicians as a group don't know much about fish & wildlife...they tend to reflect the concerns of their constituents they hear from...and in large part, they hear mostly complaints from uninformed but well-meaning people.

In the final analysis, ODFW bases its management of fish & wildlife on scientific data & scientific concensus as much as possible. They do not set seasons with tag sales as a primary consideration...they do not use the controlled hunt system as a underhanded method to raise more money...they do not have a grand scheme to preserve everything...conserve, yes...but the agency is not preservationist, per se.

Overall, I think ODFW, at least, does a reasonably good job, all things considered. :smile:
 

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Well said GSA.

Now, take this same logical approach to the managment of public education and you might better understand how I feel about that issue. :wink:
 

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IMHO, anyone who believes that "we" are answering to "them" (game depts) hasn't participated in an ODFW Commission meeting.

These meetings are open to the public... and the public is more than welcome to testify on any topic.

The rules are made (or changed) in these meetings, ladies and gentlemen. And the officials are very happy to hear public input.

If you don't like the way things are, get involved and work to change them.
 

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Very well said STG, Fishbulb and GSA! :cheers:

And I have to agree with you on this one GSA:

"Overall, I think ODFW, at least, does a reasonably good job, all things considered". :cheers:

Let me know when you are ready to go up to Longview and visit your mom and relatives GSA and kill some cromers.

Dan

Day 70!
 

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Oh by the way Fishbulb, those were some very interesting statistical percentages you posted if they are indeed accurate.

The two I was curious about though was the steelhead percentages. I was under the assumption that the Columbia River gill netters harvested some of the steelhead stocks however big or small, or at least used to.

Dan
 
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