Ideas for getting more Fish & Wildlife Officers

Would you donate money to pay for more WDFW officers?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 52.9%
  • No

    Votes: 16 47.1%

  • Total voters
    34

Matt Paluch

Active Member
#1
One consistent complaint I've heard since I started fly fishing 26 years ago is that we don't have enough game wardens in Washington State. I know that there is little chance of getting anything done through the legislature since they haven't provided enough money for WDFW to operate at current levels ($25 million shortfall this year).

I am curious how many people here would donate to a fund that would only pay for increased numbers of WDFW officers.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#3
Yes i would donate. I'd be extremely opposed to any fee or tax increases.
WDFW would need to see this as the people going above and beyond inspite of their mismanagement.
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#6
Yes I would, but...
If and when the scum are caught, the sentences handed out by the judges are so insignificant these guys are back out poaching w/o skipping a beat. There's apparently a lot of money to be made selling animal parts.
WDFW officers have/are working their tails off to catch them, only to see extremely light sentencing.

This former undercover WDFW Officer was interviewed on the radio a couple days ago (it was on NPR, BTW).
Here's a book he wrote on his experience catching the bad guys,;

https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Cody-Undercover-Investigation-Trafficking/dp/1484148371
 
#7
I'd be all for this is there was a way to really insulate it from budget shenanigans. In my experience, when a State (any State) gets a new line of money and promises it will go toward X, they always find a way around it. I've seen this a number of times in different states when the taxpayers vote, for example, to legalize gambling and promise the money will go to schools. All the gambling taxes DO go to schools. Then the legislatures just uses the new money to replace the money that previously came from the general fund. Net increase to schools = zero dollars.
 

chromie

Active Member
#8
I don’t think donations are a sustainable measure.

I do think donating or creating a group to lobby and shepherd funding for specific line item funding on more officers is more doable. Yes, funding can be “earmarked” specifically for enforcement.

I’d imagine there would be overlap or funding opportunities in regard to rural drug enforcement work too.

I’m surprised WDFW isn’t lobbying this themselves.
 

Matt Paluch

Active Member
#9
So I'm thinking about a fund that would not be in the government's control. In the early 20th century, the Audubon Society hired and paid for wardens to protect the new bird refuges. This may be a big undertaking, but I'm trying to see if we can do something similar to protect the fish from poachers.
 
#10
I don’t think donations are a sustainable measure.

I do think donating or creating a group to lobby and shepherd funding for specific line item funding on more officers is more doable. Yes, funding can be “earmarked” specifically for enforcement.

I’d imagine there would be overlap or funding opportunities in regard to rural drug enforcement work too.

I’m surprised WDFW isn’t lobbying this themselves.
They are, and so are several other NGOs. Just doesn't seem like a priority in the legislature.
 

chromie

Active Member
#11
So I'm thinking about a fund that would not be in the government's control. In the early 20th century, the Audubon Society hired and paid for wardens to protect the new bird refuges. This may be a big undertaking, but I'm trying to see if we can do something similar to protect the fish from poachers.
There are likely legalities to providing civilian funding for government enforcement. Good luck
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout forever
#12
When you have crooks trying to catch crooks, things do not go logically. IMHO.

And, bring money in, it does not mean it will filter through to actions.

Big business ..chain stores that supply ammo and fishing gear, do not care who gets the ammo, just as long as $ flows in. Those big businesses have a lot of political clout. You do not think Cabelas , Sage, Ducks Unlimited or Bass Pro couldn't cut a lot of money free to help with this?

Ridiculous so many people outside of this state making money off of the creatures of this state and do not kick something back instead of take take take! Taxes go to general fund that does not address poaching issues..miniscule.

Black market poaching bigger than most think. Most think it is some shady thing-and it is, but many are sold right on eBay or craiglslist.

Lenient judges, too, a huge issue.
 
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#14
Then the lobbying groups are weak or lack funding. Legislative priority is determined by the strongest, most effective voices.
That is a general problem in the outdoor recreation world as a whole. $886 billion annually and no strong voice in the government. The OIA is working to fix that, but we have to do more.
 
#15
So I'm thinking about a fund ....
I’m interested in how your fund would be structured. There’s a lot more to it than setting up a GoFundMe site. You need a way to ensure a more or less permanent inflow of money, or your wardens will have short careers. Build a fund raising organization? Create an endowment? Both professional activities, not short-term hobbies.