Yet another set of assaults on the WDFW Commission

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Citori, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Posts: 1,200
    Federal Way, WA
    Ratings: +116 / 0
  2. TomB Active Member

    Posts: 1,620
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    why? what's your reasoning?
  3. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,473
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,615 / 0
    Tom,

    Gov. appointed Directors of agencies are always more politicized. While no system is perfect, Gov. appointed Commissioners, confirmed by the Senate, with the Commission appointing the agency Director spreads out the politics and political influence. I'm convinced it's the best system going because Governors and Legislators all dislike it. Take a look at any conventional agency with a Gov. appointed Director; they are invariably less attentive to and responsive to citizens than is the WDFW Commission. The Commission system is an example of government being closer to the people they represent. Frankly I think their dislike of the system validates my cynicism about gubanatorial and legislative arrogance. Power does corrupt. I'm a liberal and can't even get my Dem. Senator to give me the time of day. And it pisses me off.

    Sg
  4. TomB Active Member

    Posts: 1,620
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    Sg,

    Excellent points! A reasoned response like that is exactly what I was looking for.

    -T
  5. Leopardbow Member

    Posts: 483
    Ferndale, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Great points Sg. We voted the Commission in, by public vote in 1995 with an overwhelming 61% approval by the people state wide. Now we have an attempt to put the power of all fishing and hunting policy making decisions into the hands of ONE appointed person.

    What is also interesting is that the lead sponsor of the bill is the head of the Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Waters Committee.
    One would think that Senator Ranker, who represents fishing interests in Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties would have a bit more concern with viable, science based descions effecting fishing especially in his district, then putting it back into a politicians hand.

    Guess its politics first.

    Corrected link
    http://www.votervoice.net/link/target/ccapnw/ybRGR392.aspx
  6. Jerry Metcalf FishyJere

    Posts: 340
    Enumclaw, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    I completely agree.

    Independent commissions help prevent agencies from becoming insular. The public is a hassle, a flat hassle, and agencies will tend to avoid that over time. It is like gravity, undeniable and ever present. The existing process with outside commissioners injects light and accountability into the agency. Questions are asked and have to be addressed. That is so, so healthy for both the fish and fisherpeople.

    Jerry
  7. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    then ask yourself the following questions: name any action this commission has taken to enforce the ESA listing of our wild anadramous fishes; what action has the commission taken to remove the gill nets and other non-selective salmon harvest methods; what action has the commission taken to examine the faulty statistical procedures used by WDFW staff in their determination of harvest by sport anglers; what action has the commission taken to make public the harvest data of all commercial harvesters; the list is long, extensive, and a great indication of a commission in the pockets of those who they are obliged too.

    taking a new step may not solve any of these concerns, but keeping the current system guarantees no forthcoming action. sorry, i for one am not going to defend an agency and a commission who have demonstrated the worth, or lack of it, in spades.
  8. Leopardbow Member

    Posts: 483
    Ferndale, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I believe the Commission has acted responsibly within its authority as mandated by NOAA, NMFS and the treatry-tribes. Those groups not the Commission are the ones setting or flailing at setting policy on ESA harvest levels. The same is true for the non-selective harvest methods in the rivers. Having said that, the the department has been testing selective harvest methods on the Columbia.

    A lot of the commercial harvest data is available if you do a bit of digging or just ask.
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,473
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,615 / 0
    gt,

    Besides being anything but correct, you'd only need half a brain to know that the Commission can only do that which it is legally authorized to do. Previous Commissions have generally rubber-stamped whatever their appointed Director brought them. Not so with the present Commission, which is the best informed, best educated, most responsive Commission in the history of the agency. Just because in your hair-brained mind it should be doing things it has no legal authority for doesn't make it a valueless entity. You've offered nothing but negative criticism, and your only suggestions for making improvements have required actions for which there is no legal authority. Vigorous debate enhances the value of pluralistic outcomes, but your contributions are almost invariably a waste of internet bandwidth, and certainly is in regards to this discussion. If I'm wrong, then you'll contribute a constructive alternative that is viable and legal. The challenge is yours.

    Sg
  10. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    scan the RCWs and you will be astonished to find, salmo g, that once again you missed the mark by a mile or so. your continued excuse making rings quite hollow as there is much that WDFW and the commission could have done but choose not to do, go back and read my short list. keep in mind that the commissioners are POLITICAL appointees and beholdin' to those who appointed them. the way i read the tea leaves, that means the commercials, tribal and non-tribal, get anything/everything they bring forward while the sport anglers are always knocked off the table. get real salmo g, you take on what can and should have been done is totally and unexcusably bogus.
  11. Leopardbow Member

    Posts: 483
    Ferndale, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    The RCW's have no legal authority over the treaty-tribes. Harvest is set by NOAA parameters and the Pacific Salmon treaty.

    While all entities are politically influenced to some degree, to think that one Governor appointed director with ultimate power to set policy would be less politically influenced than 9 citizen commissioners...well, enough said.
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,398
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,356 / 9
    Thanks for the heads up Citori. Sg, thanks for your explanation. GT, thanks for not buying in 100% by looking at it from a slightly different angle. Fact is, each of us has to decide which option we prefer. The voted upon method that carried the ballot measure, or allowing on person to hand pick one other person to be in charge. I belive in the many having strength over the one. It might not always be true, but I think it is more true than not.
  13. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,320
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +879 / 0
    For how bad a political appointee, one who the schmuck-in-charge gets to appoint without regard to qualifications, one only has to look at the ambassador to Luxembourg, some twit from Seattle who was a major Obama fundraiser. Took her only a year to be forced to resign. Of course, it's not like we silly peasants should have any say in things-just look at how many times the state legislature decided we really didn't mean what we voted for.
  14. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    leopardbow, please go read, study and understand the 1974 Boldt decision, beyond the 50% allocation. WDFW is clearly charged by that decision, and authorized at the federal level, with preserving and protecting our wild anadramous fish stocks. so while it is quite easy to say that WDFW has zero authority over the treaty tribes, the legal fact is they were handed that authority by judge boldt.

    please don't take my word for any of this, groucho would be pretty angry if you did anything short of taking his advice: '...who you going to believe, me or your own two eyes...'

    so why doesn't WDFW act? status quo thats my take on things. they were formed from an agency which was designed to develop, support and defend MSY. that was the status quo they were spawned from and the status quo they continue to preserve and protect. protecting our last remaining wild anadramous fish stocks? well what do your own two eyes tell'yah.................

    will anything be different under a DNR scenario? i have no idea other than the status quo has been disrupted, and that is a very good thing to have occur. those most vocal about and playing the chicken little sonata in Fsharp are the very ones who wish to maintain the status quo, even if that means the wild anadramous stock totally collapse. sound weird? not really as most people on this planet are not comfortable with the unknown, just the way it is. so congratulations to the governor for having the courage to propose disrupting the status quo, let see how this plays out.
  15. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,398
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,356 / 9
    GT, refresh my memory from previous law suits when the State of Washington, in the form of WDFW, took their "authority" to court. What was the outcome? Doing nothing plays out with all fish dead. Tough action gets to court which results in an ass kicking, continues the status quo, which plays out with all fish dead. I'm all for a better option, what is it?
  16. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    the only legal action i can recall from WDFW was aimed at removing the gill nets from the terminal fishery. unfortunately, at statehood, laws were passed which banned weirs, wheels and traps from terminal fisheries. so the court simply threw this suite on the trash heap as a blatant attempt to shut down a single commercial segment, tribal harvest. now that was a rather stupid way to approach a real problem but its how it came down. a smarter approach would have been to have the ban on weirs, wheels and traps in terminal tribal fisheries overturned giving the tribe a means of selective harvest while preserving their 50%.

    are there other attempts by WDFW? perhaps someone else knows of others from the past.

    in today's situation, to enforce the ESA listing on puget sound chinook, WDFW would have to close all harvest, period. they could not succeed in selectively targetting one harvesting group while ignoring another. that would totally disrupt the status quo the sport angler has become accustomed too. are you ready to see harvest closed to everyone? would you personally be willing to stop? that is the sort of action which WDFW is currently empowered to take and for me, having had a 2 decade hiatiaus from salmon harvest, i would be more than willing to hang up the gear all over again.

    think about it........................
  17. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    GT,

    Despite what you just posted about WDFW having authoriy over the tribes withing the US v. WA (i.e. Bolt descision), it is patently false and inaccurate on its face. Bolt said that WA State (i.e. WDFW) and the Treaty Fishing Tribes are co-managers. One of them doesn't have authority over the other. They are equal to each other and that is why each gets to decide what to do with its harvestable fish. WDFW can shut down fishing, set limits on the number and type of fish that can be killed, and limit the types of gear for its half of the equation (i.e. the sport and commercial fishermen), and the Treaty fishing Tribes can shut down fishing, set limits on the number of fish that can be killed, and limit the types of gear that are used by the fishermen of that particular tribe. One side cannot set limits on the other side.

    The suit you claimed was tossed in the trash heap by the court had nothing in its descision that mentioned WA State banning fish sheels, traps, weirs, etc. Pluse Bolt gave the tribes (it was affirmed by the Supreme Court) the right to regulate its own fsiheries as they see fit. This included but was not limited to the type of fear used to fish. In other words, if a tribe wishes to use a fish wheel or trap, WA State can do nothing about it, just like WA State can do nothing about the treaty fishing tribes allowing gill nets in the rivers.

    The arguments you have postulated and offered as proof that WDFW can regulate the trbes' methods and harvest have been used by WA State to now avail in its appeals. It seems that it would help you to avail yourself of the appellate court and Supreme Court descisions on them. The State lost on each and every one of them.

    As I've posted before multiple times, Congress can change the Point Elliot Treaty to remove the right of the tribes to fish as they wish; NOAA-F can say nobody, including the tribes, can fish for salmon or steelhead by any means whatsoever; EPA can say the salmon or steelhead in a particular river system cannot tolerate harvest of any sort and shut down the fishing on that river system for all users; WDFW can shut down sport and commercial fishing; a tribe can shut down fishing for its members on the river it has treaty fishing rights to; and NOAA-F can tell WA State to quit stocking fish in a river and as a result tell both the tribes and WDFW to quit allowing fishing in that river.

    US v. WA was decided over 30 years ago. I think it is long past the time that we realize that the treaty fishing tribes have a right to fish and that they are co-managers with WDFW of the resource.

    I suggest you go back and read the complete US v. WA (Bolt) descision for you don't appear to have an understanding of what co-managers means.

    Leopardbow,

    Sen. Ranker, who happens to be my Senator, has family in the commercial fishing business and he (and they) are not happy with how WDFW pays attention to the concerns of sportsfishermen. That is why he would like to see control of WDFW given to the governor. The commercials have not been happy with WDFW as it was set up by a vote of the people, they want to return to a commission and director appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate because they rightfully see that as the way to get more of the harvetable fish for commercial fishermen.

    Me, I don't want our system changed for exactly the reasons Salmo-g laid out.
  18. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,592
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    One day out fishing I ran into a fish biologist and talked for about an hour about this very subject, sort of.

    They (the biologists) had been working on ways to increase the returns of the native fish in this particular river. As it turns out, NOAA was not happy with the results (even though the numbers were up) and shut their program down, the entire program. That river now will be absent of returning fish after next year, except for the true wild fish. I had no idea NOAA had that kind of power. All I know is that there are going to be some very disappointed fisherman come 2013.

    It has not been made public yet, but it will be soon I was told. I wonder how many other rivers face tis same fate?
  19. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,398
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,356 / 9
    What river, no need to keep it a secret if there aren't going to be any fish there.
  20. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    Ah, GT, WFF's very own Don Quixote. Where are the Sancho Panzas' who will follow GT? His is a voice alone in the wilderness. Why aren't CCA or the Wild Steelhead Coalition or Trout Unlimited willing to support his unique interpretation of the law? Don't they recognize his brilliance? If one is to believe GT, a lawsuit brought against WDFW to enforce their responsibilities should be a slam dunk? Why does he dance alone? Where is the video footage of the abuses of the tribes that he was promoting? Where are the signatures on his initiative to forbid gill nets?

    Onto serious issues, I see the move by the governor against the WDFW Commission as part of a wide-spread power play by the governor to consolidate all decision-making under her office under the guise of the current financial crisis. The attempt by the governor to cut Randy Dorn, the duly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction (whatever you think of the actions of this current inhabitant of the office), from control of K-12 education is a similar action. While I agree that the Commission has been too slow to recognize threats to endangered fish populations (and too slow to challenge some of the pro-harvest WDFW district heads), they appear to be finally understanding the scope of the problem.

    Steve