Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by pilchuck steelie, Oct 22, 2006.
I'll second that. :beer1:
Kind of reminds me of the old Rodney Dangerfield joke...
"I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out!"
There's a lot of good stuff in here. Thanks, guys. :thumb:
You mention again stepping up to the plate and putting the fish ahead of all other interests. If you're serious about that, the place where that can happen is the state legislature and the Congress, not WDFW, USFWS, nor NMFS. The legislature has placed harvest right along with conservation as the resource management objectives for salmon in this state.
i was tracking right along with you salmo, until this came at the end of your last post. i sat back and thought about this overnight, but it just does not sit well.
what i have to say is not directed at you as an individual, i don't know you, what you do, or anything about your training and current role. my comments are more a generic view of how i have seen things unfold over time. and as a retired public servant, i know full well how difficult it is to step up and stand straight. we have all seen the 'scientists' over the last 6 years, in particular, dummy up.
sorry, i do put much of the blame on the three agencies, their staff and managers along with NOAA and probably several others we could name off. the difficulty in buck passing, is nothing happens, ever. yes, much of fisheries management does become a political agenda item. but without specific recommendations from the professionals who are claiming to have at least some handle on what is happening, bad policy results.
you seem to be implying that the political process is going on without any input from the agencies you named. if that is really the case, then i would suggest the tens of millions of dollars being chanelled to those agencies be redirected. you see, if employees of those agencies are not actively beating the conservation drum, each and every day, at every twist and turn, there really is no reason for them to exist.
the long term trend data you mentioned could be generated with several hundred concerned volunteers using a well designed data collection instrument interviewing others participating in this activity. i would be more than willing to wager that this anecdotal data collection would at least equal the 'trend' analysis you mentioned. so whats to loose if these agencies fold up their collective tents?
every individual who is directly employed in agencies that are managing our fisheries has a direct obligation to speak out. it is with that voice that the policy maker will have to contend. with clear and concise information laid out to the public, the elected policy maker will engage in the political process.
silence leads to apathy and policy which is driven by the squeaky wheel. if the agencies you mentioned are not squeaking every day, they don't deserve continued funding.
the buck stops with those managers who have the data and do not directly and forceably pass that information to our elected policy makers. sorry, the buck can't be passed from my perspective. finger pointing and claiming the dog ate the data just won't cut it. employees of the agencies you mentioned are paid by me and everyone else on this board, and we have the expectation that those employees are agressively defending our fisheries with intelligent comment and data to support their recommendations.
the economics of native fisheries is astonishing. the folks in these agencies need to get beyond buck passing and get out in front of these issues.
thanks for the discussion salmo, appreciated.
Watching this with interest guys, gotta plug in the ocean survival rate with higher temps and then the high seas 3 inch gillnets. The pinks never did show up in Alaska this year and they have been at all time highs for the past ten years.
Wow, i've really glad you guys started arguing. I'm considering going back for my PhD soon, and part of my research might involve fisheries. At least now I know it won't be boring....
So, not to start another fight. I know that this whole thing started as a treaty rights issue, and evolved into a fight about the scientific credibility of modeling data, but here it is anyway. How big a role would removing a dam or two play in recovery? I'm sure that research has been done but it is so far outside of my field right now I wouldn't know creditable data from junk. Does a dam have a higher kill rate the further upstream it is, would removing dams help at all? My grandfather came to this area in the '30's or so, and I got his descriptions of the salmon and steelhead runs second hand through my dad. Now, my dad could spin a yarn, and i'm assuming that his dad could too, but if the runs were 1/10 of what were described to me we aren't even close to the biomass that these rivers could move back in the day. This seems to be the right group to ask. I'm not looking for a succinct answer, I just want to witness the discussion. If we were at a bar i'd keep buying pitchers.....
noah, i knew older folks now deceased, who told stories of silvers in the pilchuck river, thick enough to walk on, and that folks around snohomish would make trips to the river for several gunny sacks full, for garden fertilizer! stories of the steelhead limit being 6 a day, catching the limit from one hole on the pilchuck, and 20# fish being common!
quoting gt, "every individual who is directly employed in agencies that are managing our fisheries has a direct obligation to speak out. it is with that voice that the policy maker will have to contend." gt, this is something i have said for years, and i am dismayed by the unwillingness of those who know the truth of what's going on, but won't speak up. i think the biggest reason for this is the state/union retirement pension/benefits these individuals stand to collect eventually. these retirement benefits have come to amounting to nothing more than bribes to silence anyone who might speak up. who in any of these agencies is going to dare speak up, if the result is losing your financial future? and depending on how far away retirement is, some keep quiet to keep their jobs and opportunities for promotions. promotions= bigger saleries and retirement benefits. so, for the sake of $$$$$, silence is golden. meanwhile, our salmon/steelhead resources continue to decline.
in closing, i'm to a point now that i don't buy into the habitat excuse. habitat is sometimes just another place to point the finger, something else to blame. overcommercialization of all things wild, greed, lies, deception, agendas- personal and unspoken by individuals, organizations and special interest. no body want to do the tough thing, everyone is looking for a loophole. the state of our wildlife resources gets sadder by the year, meanwhile politicians lie, make loopholes for their "friends" and tax and spend. somehow people are convinced that if they throw enough money at the problem, it will go away. yet there is no proof that that has ever worked. the columbia river salmon issue is just one example to prove that. take care.
Young man, go after that PhD, because you just cut through all the acrimonious bullshit and are smart enough to ask the right question!!
The Columbia and Snake River dams are THE biggest obstacle to restoring anadromous fish runs in the Pacific Northwest region, period.
Why do you think Redfish Lake (in the Idaho Sawtooths) was named that way, way back when?
Might as well rename it NoSalmon Lake...............
Left to ourselves, we'd screw the environment up big time due to parochial interests. Left to the government, we'd screw the environment up even bigger time due to commercial interests. People who sportfish can only be described as just another "special interest".
Which brings me back to my original point. Andronamous fish will ONLY prosper as the environment prospers. For the foreseeable future, we are hitchhikers on the back of the environmental horse, and the environmental horse is in the butcher shop being cut up by the parochial and commercial interests.
I don't have a clear answer for this. We are in the classic position of an army forced to fight on two fronts. And if you read your history, armies who attempt this lose.
I apologize for writing such depressing shit, and I welcome any bright spots on the horizon.
iagree iagree iagree
Otter's spot on (but no bright spots, sorry, 'bro).
As the total environment goes, so do the fish (and everything else).
And it doesn't seem like it's gonna get any better as long as us bipedals are calling the shots.
Damn..... We gonna wake up one of these days, or do we gotta get force-fed??
pilchuck steelie, i would disagree with the conclusion that silence has to do with unions and benefits. the field bio knows the score, can report that in clear air, but if the manager is being directed to dummy up by the top who is also being leaned on, the truth never comes out.
all you have to do is recall bush solving the global warming problem by directing EPA to remove the entire chapter from their annual report. that is the sort of political pressure that hides data from everyone. NOAA is another prime example of an agency being run by a political appointee in bed with special interests.
WDFW i am sure is leaned on from above. the problem is the lack of leadership in these agencies and the timidity of the employees who actually have the information. its tough to step up and go public with this sort of information and in fact, despite whistle blower, it could end a career.
my point was simply that unless the individuals you and i employ to work at those agencies do their job to the fullest, our anadramous fishes will continue their long term and accelerated decline.
and yes, the snake river dams have had the effect of: causing the extinction of the sockeye headed for redfish lake, ID, that is within the last 20 yrs; the extinction of the far upstream spawning coho and chinook of the stanley basin, that is also within the last 20 years; the serious decline of the 'b' native fishes to the clearwater system.
the snake river dams are estimated to produce 2% of the power on the grid; serve to irrigate 13 large agribusinesses; and keep the port of lewiston afloat. there is zero reason for their existence in economic terms. the grain used to be transported by rail for an estimated increase in cost of $0.02/bushel. at the same time, if those dams were breached, you folks would get the opportunity to fish some of the most incredable water you could imagine. i was at wazoo in the 60s and spent lots of time bass, salmon and steelhead fishing down there.
I'd wondered about the economic viability of the dams. If the fishing runs would return to what they once were it seems that there would be proportionately more statewide income generated from tourism. I think that people have just lost perspective about what the fisheries once looked like around here. From what all the older guys say it was the 8th wonder of the world to witness the runs. Its too bad we can't find a test bed river and yank a dam that isn't useful anymore. Then the state could actually test the potential for revenues generated from the result. Not trivial I know, but you would think that the river conservatory or some other group would have tried this already. It would only work if enough people got organized and focused on the same dam, and recovery of the same drainage, instead of trying to tackle a whole series of dams at once. Or is that silly? This might be a topic for another post.
They are going to do that! They are removing the 2 dams on the Elwa River starting in 2007.
the elwaha could be an excellent example, and in the very near future. unfortunately WDFW already has a plan to screw this up. yes, they intend to stock the shit out of that river, immediately. no waiting, to time to see how nature reacts.
i could see how they might want to take that action regarding the economically viable salmon, but the suspicion is that those 'trout' trapped above adwell dam, and spawning on their own, may be the last remaind DNA of the original steelhead. now there is an experiment in natures capability. and yes, when i attended the steelhead planning meeting in PA, i put that on the table, to deaf ears. knowing that, i also put it in writing to WDFW. made me feel better even though i know nothing will come of it. did you folks comment?????????????????????????
of course if they did wait and the anadramous fishes returned on their own, folks might just start to wonder why we need hatcheries and/or WDFW and their managers.
if you read the steelhead draft, you will see some dollar signs connected to how much folks fishing supposidly spend/day, seem to remember around a hundred bucks. i pointed out that people will pay between $5,000 and $7,500/wk in B.C. to hook and release wild steelhead. i suggested that WDFW really needed to look beyond their understated estimates and realize what a native fishery would do to the small communities in this state who continue to struggle along. my notion was a few rivers, set aside, for trophy fishing. a total no kill, no augmentation, set of drainages! well you can guess where that notion will end up as well.
what everyone has to come to grips with is WDFW and the other agencies responsible for the health of the anadramous stocks are playing politics, pure and simple. this is not a matter of elected officials coming up with bad policy, it is the folks who have the information and who could argue the case not stepping up and doing so. they are bowing to the political winds which ebb and flow around these agencies.
so no matter how much folks who work for these various fish related agencies like to talks about 'science', at the end of the day none of that matters. time to wake up, get involved, take a stand and demand that the data be put on the table in full view of everyone in WA.
ok, off my soapbox, time for some oatmeal
You're not standing on a soapbox GT. Just calling it like it is. :thumb: Coach
Sorry my last statement didn't track well for you. I submit that it is correct and true. It could be because I'm not a career long public servant, but I haven't found it at all difficult to step up and stand straight. Maybe it's because I've never been married to any job, or maybe it's just that I feel the public is entitled to any non-classified information that exists within a public agency. Which btw, is pretty much everything in a fisheries management agency, either through the state's public disclosure law or the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
As a retired public servant, you must know full well that the rank-and-file staff do not make agency position statements. If they did, agencies would have as many positions as they have staff. Agency statements are made by agency directors or their designee, often a public relations hack. Staff are hired for various technical functions, not to be mouthpieces for the agencies, for the reason listed above. If they spent their time beating the conservation drum to the public, they wouldn't be doing their job, siince that's not what they're hired to do. Further, the definition of conservation varies, and what it means to you is most likely markedly different from what it means to WDFW Director Koenings, individual WDFW Commission members, and the various state legislators.
Agency missions are established by a legislative mandate (state or federal, depending on whether WDFW, USFWS, or NMFS). Therefore, every agency regulation and policy exists ultimately to serve that mandate. The regulations and policies are established by Commissioners, Directors, Deputy Directors, and senior managers. Not rank-and-file staff. But you already know that. It just seems that you need to be reminded of it.
Here's a glimpse to the inside, something I think you would identify with as a former public official:
Several staff biologists conclude the obvious at coffee over the course of weeks and months of analyzing salmon population and harvest data. The obvious is that the most direct path to recovering ESA listed chinook in Puget Sound and the Columbia River is to close all recreation and commercial ocean fisheries under WDFW jurisdiction. They can push that alternative through mid and to upper management. The alternative is certainly consistent with survival and recovery of the species, but is it consistent with conservation?
You'll recall that conservation has long been defined as "wise use." That doesn't prohibit making productive use of salmon, only that such use must be "wise." Well guess what? That doesn't mean the same thing to all the various parties with a stake in those fish. Organized sport fishing groups lobby to some extent for their interest in ocean salmon fishing. The ocean troll fishery organization lobbies perhaps even more intently for their interest in ocean commercial fishing. The fish processing industry (where the serious money is) lobbies the most, some to the Director, but usually directly with key influential state legislators. And the Makah Tribe isn't even going to waste their time listening to any such proposal; don't go there.
So where are we? Senior management reminds the idealistic biologists that the agency's legislative mandate requires a viable fishing industry and asks technical staff if the listed salmon can survive and be recovered while still allowing significant and meaningful fishing in the ocean. Well, according to the models (layers of assumption here, of course) yes, with cutbacks to the kinds of ocean fisheries seen in recent years, then conservation needs and various fishing interests, can both be served. Contingent, of course that the models are fairly accurate. So the upper manager, having become "upper" by not being a dummy, asks, "what if the model is not accurate?" The answer is that recovery is set back by one brood cycle, most likely, and potentially two, if the runsize estimate is really way off. Of course, the further off the estimate, the lower the probability of it being off by that amount, etc.
Upper management deems the risk as acceptable, since every one gets a bite of the apple, and most likely the conservation needs of the species will be realized. Of course, the most certain statistical outcome is that the run will be larger or smaller than the point estimate. Common statistics suggest that over and under-estimates should be about equal. And from experience we have seen that runs are in fact over-estimated somewhat more often than they are under-estimated. Hence, there is a bit of an unequal risk that escapement goals will not be achieved. And what the tech folks tell us is that recovery will be set back slightly as a result, not that it won't occur. Since recovery is being described as a multi-decade effort, the risk appears worth it to managers, who are on the hook to deliver BOTH fish conservation and harvest to various user groups.
If you examine the law, outside of the ESA, harvest is every bit as high a priority as conservation through meeting escapement goals. There is a saying among some harvest management biologists that you get the same number of professional demerits for every spawning salmon OVER the escapement goal as for being under the escapement goal. Error is error, whether it's plus or minus. And having known a number of such calculator toting, pocket-protector-wearing technical wonks, that is how their world works. Salmon are numbers on paper, or electronic digital data nowadays, I suppose. If they do the technical work, they have satisfied their job requirements.
If you think conservation via consistent achievement of escapement goals should be a higher priority, I'm sorry, but you'll have to begin with the Legislature. Change the law. That will result in a change in regulations and policies. And if you want to increase the likelihood of conservation happening, tie the pay of the Director and senior management, to achievement of escapement goals. You'll seldom see an under-escaped run again. You won't get much fishing opportunity either, tho.
In further regard to your comments about the political process, the Legislature does not do its work in a vacuum. However, they do not consult with rank-and-file technical staff. They consult with: 1) lobbyists for commercial and recreational fishing interests and increasingly with treaty tribal interests; 2) the Director; 3) the Director's Legislative Liason, who of course does the Director's bidding; and possibly nowadays, 4) with certain of the Commissioners, as the Commission has become somewhat more of a political football (at the influence of the commercial fish processing industry) in recent years.
Rank-and-file staff cannot lobby for the agency. It's prohibited, and for the sensible reason I described above: the agency would have multiple, and conflicting positions, if positions were delivered from multiple sources. (Federal agencies cannot lobby Congress at all. It's against the law. Agencies can only answer questions from Congress. It's set up to be a one-way street.)
A lot of tech staff beat the conservation drum, each and every day, as you insist they should. However, they do so within the constraints - the shackles, perhaps - of the legislative mandate, policies, and regulations of their respective agencies. Some of us believe we actually can do this, by working harder, and smarter, and delivering conservation results sometimes in spite of leadership that leans the other direction. I'd submit that the ESA review and relisting of salmon and steelhad last year is such an example. It's no secret the Prez Bush appointed Bob Lohn to lead NMFS to de-list salmon and steelhead. The successful Alsea lawsuit looked to many like the agency was headed in that direction. However, an arduous and lengthy technical, legal, and policy review resulted not in de-listing, but in re-listing every one of those stocks, plus adding lower Columbia River coho.
Sometimes the good guys win, even when the other side has all the heavy guns. So should those science positions exist, or be abolished because their job descriptions do not include speaking on behalf of the agency?
You ask, "so whats to loose if these agencies fold up their collective tents?" Fair enough. Absent those agencies, the social alternative could go either way. Everything is open to everyone until it's all gone. Or, the only openings would be those for which sufficient data and analysis exist to support such opening. Under scenario one, the most efficient harvesters would enjoy getting while the getting is good, which wouldn't last much beyond a cycle or two. Under the second, hardly anybody would fish anytime. Except the treaty Indian fishery. It would continue pretty much unabated because Tribes would retain their fisheries people, and they would have the only data supporting whatever amount of fishing their information advised them of.
You further said,"every individual who is directly employed in agencies that are managing our fisheries has a direct obligation to speak out. it is with that voice that the policy maker will have to contend." I pointed out above that contention is incorrect and gave the reason. There are some clear exceptions, the best being that of Mike Kelly, who worked for NMFS on the Klamath River, and eventually gave up his job for his whistle-blowing. Yet, to this day, the official position of the agency is contrary to Kelly's personal position. So what are the adverse consequences to an agency, when the official agency position supports the political position, even when both are contrary to the technical position? Face it, political horsepower trumps being right. In my opinion it's always best if people avoid being married to a job. Such situations like the Klamath are the exception, however.
I agree with you that you have the right to have techical employees making their best technical recommendations to the managers they report to. However, that doesn't mean you will like the policy decision, since that decision will be made by someone else, who will consider more than just the technical information. And they will do that because it is their job to integrate both technical, economic, and social factors into their decision, because that is what the law is. If you doubt that, I can look up the WAC citations for you.
I'm not hear to argue, just to discuss and share information, and maybe to debate to some extent. Another pitcher would be good, tho, I'm just about out of Fat Tire. Oh well, dinner's not far off. Fresh steelhead on the BBQ tonight. The Cowlitz was generous yesterday.
You asked, "How big a role would removing a dam or two play in recovery?" I don't know. Biologists don't agree. First of all, it depends which dams you're talking about, of course. The 4 lower Snake dams are the usual topics of conversation. If those stay in place, the Redfish Lake sockeye will go extinct more than likely. A technical science team has already labeled them functionally extinct. That would be next to impossible to credibly argue against. Wild Snake summer and fall chinook are likely to follow without dam removal, IMO. Their recovery seems nigh on impossible without it to me. Not everyone feels that way.
Dam passage mortality rates are independent of location as far as I know. Rates range from 5 to 15% at each of the Snake/Columbia dams from what I've read. Interpretation of the data allows for credible dispute along pro and anti dam alliances.
A small scale example of the fishery benefits of dam removal is the Goldsborough Creek project near Shelton. The dam wasn't removed, but an instream passage channel was built around it cuz the locals were fearful of the potential flooding the sediment release might cause. Nonetheless, there are now coho, chum, steelhead, and cutthroat migrating upstream of this barrier that was built by the Simpson mill early in the last century for a water supply.
Fisheries might be boring to a lot of people, but I've never regretted a Monday morning in 30 years. However, I'm nuts about salmon and steelhead.
Not to rain on your parade, but altho I believe the stories (that the stories are told, that is), I'm skeptical of the reality that 20# steelhead have ever been common on the Pilchuck or any river in WA state. When steelhead populations were larger, however, there would be more 20# steelhead, even at the same proportion within a population. The average wild steehead in WA is 8#, as was so even before hatchery fish were particularly common according to more reliable accounts from old timers who used more accurate scales.
I don't know a single fisheries biologist who is unwilling to say exactly what he or she thinks is going on in fisheries management. Of course those opinions are not headline news, since as I wrote above, the news doesn't call rank-and-file staff to get an agency's position on an issue. They call the Director's office or the Public Relations media official who is authorized to give the agency position. If the Seattle Times called 50 staff biologists and got 50 opinions, they wouldn't know what to make of it. However, they'd know that they didn't have an official agency position, so what good what it do? And if they call me (and they have on several if not numerous occasions), they'll get pretty much what I've written here, they get my personal professional opinion and sometimes a referral to the PR office if they think they need an official comment. Therefore your references to unions and pensions are pretty much bunk in my estimation. I'll give you a little more credit as regards promotions, however, since most anyone who's spent a career in any business has seen the professional success achieved by some brown-nosing ass-kissers who wouldn't say shit if they had a mouthful. Some senior managers would rather have yes-men (or women) as middle managers reporting to them rather than people who would call a spade a shovel. So that's who they hire for those positions. Hey, that's the way the world is, as far as I know.
I don't expect you to buy habitat as an excuse. None of the good biologists I know do. But through reasoned analysis they conclude that habitat is the ulitmate limiting factor for most stocks in most places. And if you make a reasoned analysis, I think it will be your conclusion, too. If not, we can have super good discussions about differing opinions, but only if you first do the hard homework and bring a substantiated counter position to the discussion. No shooting from the hip BS. You'll have to back up each and every position with evidence.
I don't know if it's classic or not, but you're correct, I think, in that taxpayers are funding both sides of the argument many times. So many examples of irony in life.
GT, 9 AM Friday,
I disagree that it's a matter of truth or lies, but a matter of who establishes the agency position. You still appear to be suggesting that somehow it would be an agency scientist instead of the politically appointed director. Ain't never been the case; ain't never gonna' be. And I think I describes the whys and wherefores enough above.
Now, are you suggesting that agency employees are timid because they don't call the newspapers and give them information that is being buried in the agency? If so, that's BS. Any piece of information you want is available to you or the news media via Public Disclosure, or FOIA, if you can't get just by asking. This is the law, and I've participated in this, and seen others do so at both the state and federal levels. Nobody's hiding anything from you. They don't need to. They can do what they're doing (for the most part; there are exceptions like NMFS keeps losing on the FCRPS (Snake/Col Biological Opinion)) because it fulfills the agency's legal mandate, even if you, and many, many, others think the agencies ought to be doing something else, like your preferred alternative, which would end up being less defensible legally, or it would be the alternative the agencies did adopt.
My opinion is that even if the resource agencies did their respective jobs in a way that increased the priority for conservation, the long term trend for wild salmon and steelhead will continue to be downward. The reason is bonehead simple. Our state population is over 4,000,000 and climbing, expected to be 5 or 6 million, I forget, by 2020. The last time WA had sustainably harvestabe wild salmon and steelhead was in the 1960s with a human population of about 2.6 million. If you want healthy populations of wild salmon and steelhead that can consistently support harvests that are sustainable, figure out how to reduce the state's human population to 2.6 million.
I agree with your final paragraph.
Last I heard, Elwha removal has been moved back again, to 2009.
GT, 8:25 Sat.,
Hope the oatmeal has the desired benefits.
I think the notion of allowing Elwha native steelhead to recover naturally has a lot of merit. This should be thought through, and maybe WT and WSC would lobby WDFW to adopt that alternative. Don't be discouraged that your idea fell on deaf ears, if that's what you think happened. As a former public servant, you should know that government follows; it doesn't lead. So if that alternative has merit, it can get some traction and potentially lead.
You know what Salmo, I take some flak on this site for my balls, my honesty. And I'll be honest. I thought you were a paid henchman for this mess of a state. I was wrong. I apologize to you for thinking I knew what you stood for and what you believed. If you need a baseball bat, or an ass-kicking "right hand" ever to help you save these fish, give me a PM! I'll do whatever I can for ya. In the meantime, spread your knowledge to all that you can. I'm in your corner. (That doens't mean that if we get torn up and go to eat some burgers at Dicks after fishing and you comment on my caveman ways, I won't take a hack at ya, but I respect the hell out of ya anyways!) But I still love ya! So do the fish baby! Coach
No problemo. (However, that's too much info re your balls.) Personally, I think it's your style that attracts attention to your posts.
Hopefully you can understand that if I were a paid henchman, I'd just ignore this site, at least with respect to fishery management discussions. There's no upside to the political hacks for participating.
People see and believe what they want. Some keep their eyes open to information and can be swayed with credible info. Some choose to ignore anything that doesn't support the comfort of their familiar, if close-minded, opinions. I participate in these discussions only with the purpose of challengng the open-minded to consider alternatives they hadn't previously thought of. It's a big world out there, and I'm always looking for new and better information.
Uh, we won't be stopping at Dicks if I have a say. Now, Kid Valley, yeah, that works. Don't worry, I know lots of latter day cavemen. Often they're the best anglers. Thanks for the kind words.
when and if public employees wish to take their ideas to the top dog and fight the good fight, they will find that nothing is stopping them except themselves.
sorry salmo, i don't accept your premises regarding how pubic agencies operate. my own, personel experience, through a decades long career, tells me that good ideas, that have traction, will quickly be adopted and claimed as their own by agency heads. the trick is putting the appropriate bullets in the big guys political gun.
all the best in your efforts to protect our fishes.
i am glad you like the notion of leaving the steelhead to their own devices on the elwaha. if it goes anywhere, please feel free to use it as your own idea :thumb:
It looks like the range of our disagreement may be narrowing. Of course, we can still agree to disagree as needed.
People do take ideas to the top dogs. However, only the ideas that are consistent with the agency's legislative mandate are gonna' survive the encounter. So a good idea, like conservation at the expense of any or most fishing, is usually DOA. That said, the best way to give a good idea traction is to frame its development so that the top dog believes it is his or her idea. Most managers will champion their own idea more strongly than one that they believe was recommended to them. Maybe that's what you have in mind with putting the appropriate bullets in the big guy's gun.
Conversely, you may have read the news item today about Dept. of Interior Deputy Secretary Julie McDonald's review of USFWS proposals to list species under the ESA. She mocks them, making sarcastic notes in the margins. Now, by the time an agency recommendation makes it that high in the food chain, I'd expect it to be very well written and documented. But if the top dog is a political hack deteremined to avoid ESA listings, except those directed by court order (after all appeals have been lost, of course), then there's an obvious limit to the amount of conservation that staff can achieve.
Thanks for the good wishes. I've had some good fortune with fish conservation efforts, and expect to rack up a few more before changing sectors.
As for the Elwha steelhead, it's not a new idea, and I have no intention of laying any claim to it. It should rise or fall on its inherent merit. I'll talk to some folks about it.
the mcdonald article makes a person want to puke. that is exactly the sort of individual who sinks conservation efforts. it is a good thing, however, that this story is out in clear air. i would not expect much to come to pass unless someone launchs an investigation at the federal level and unless we have a sea change in november, thats a dead issue.
you are correct, you have to think about getting the boss to accept your idea as his/hers. obviously this is a matter of tightening circles of ideas in an attempt to finally get the actual objective accomplished. can you tell i enjoyed the battle?