Ideas for getting more Fish & Wildlife Officers

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Matt Paluch, Dec 4, 2017.

?

Would you donate money to pay for more WDFW officers?

  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
    52.9%
  2. No

    16 vote(s)
    47.1%
  1. Matt Paluch

    Matt Paluch Active Member

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    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.
     
  2. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Yes
    I would donate additional funds provided it went directly into additional WDFW enforcement, not into the state's general fund.
    SF
     
  3. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    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.
     
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  4. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Definitely!!!
    A better Poacher's Hotline staffed 24/7 with a live WDFW body would be a giant step in the right direction.
     
  5. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    I'll mirror what Brian said.
     
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  6. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong OldRodsHaveMoreFun

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    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. Steve Slater

    Steve Slater Active Member

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    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.
     
  8. chromie

    chromie Active Member

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    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.
     
  9. Matt Paluch

    Matt Paluch Active Member

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    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. Matt Paluch

    Matt Paluch Active Member

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    They are, and so are several other NGOs. Just doesn't seem like a priority in the legislature.
     
  11. chromie

    chromie Active Member

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    There are likely legalities to providing civilian funding for government enforcement. Good luck
     
  12. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  13. chromie

    chromie Active Member

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    Then the lobbying groups are weak or lack funding. Legislative priority is determined by the strongest, most effective voices.
     
  14. Matt Paluch

    Matt Paluch Active Member

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    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. MileHighFlyGuy

    MileHighFlyGuy Active Member

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    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.