Idaho Closes Steelhead Season

#31
Are you assuming no one in the WFC draws a paycheck?
I don't know why I bother but here goes again...

It seems like in every thread related to conservation this comes up. Some speculative theory that conversation ".orgs" are making tons of money by suing governmental agencies. Apologies for my directness but for small 501 (c)3's it's largely bullshit.

On behalf of the biggest private foundation in the world, It was my day job to look at and evaluate non-profits as potential grant recipients for 9 years (still there but now in a more inward looking role). I have looked at the financials of literally a thousand or so. Sure, there are sometimes problems, especially when there is bad leadership but it's by far the exception rather than the rule. A FAR bigger problem is that the people working for these organizations get paid TOO LITTLE to attract talent and the orgs are so starved for administrative and overhead funds that they either run on a shoestring and can't invest in luxuries like accounting controls or just wither and die. See The Non-profit Starvation Cycle as an example.

For the example at hand, it took me all of two minutes to sign up for a free account at Guidestar, look up WFC and download their latest IRS form 990 from 2016 (2017s are just starting to get uploaded) and see that their director is the highest paid employee at $60K per year. So if he's getting rich, it's not off a WFC salary.

I'm not a WFC fan. I don't agree with their litigious approach to conservation. But anyone who is willing to work that hard for that little money in an area with this cost of living to make something about the world better, doesn't deserve these sorts of comments. We should all feel free to disagree and debate the issues but to imply something shady and make what are essentially character attacks doesn't help anything.
 
#32
I don't know why I bother but here goes again...

It seems like in every thread related to conservation this comes up. Some speculative theory that conversation ".orgs" are making tons of money by suing governmental agencies. Apologies for my directness but for small 501 (c)3's it's largely bullshit.

On behalf of the biggest private foundation in the world, It was my day job to look at and evaluate non-profits as potential grant recipients for 9 years (still there but now in a more inward looking role). I have looked at the financials of literally a thousand or so. Sure, there are sometimes problems, especially when there is bad leadership but it's by far the exception rather than the rule. A FAR bigger problem is that the people working for these organizations get paid TOO LITTLE to attract talent and the orgs are so starved for administrative and overhead funds that they either run on a shoestring and can't invest in luxuries like accounting controls or just wither and die. See The Non-profit Starvation Cycle as an example.

For the example at hand, it took me all of two minutes to sign up for a free account at Guidestar, look up WFC and download their latest IRS form 990 from 2016 (2017s are just starting to get uploaded) and see that their director is the highest paid employee at $60K per year. So if he's getting rich, it's not off a WFC salary.

I'm not a WFC fan. I don't agree with their litigious approach to conservation. But anyone who is willing to work that hard for that little money in an area with this cost of living to make something about the world better, doesn't deserve these sorts of comments. We should all feel free to disagree and debate the issues but to imply something shady and make what are essentially character attacks doesn't help anything.
I liked your post, and I think you make some valid points. I would question the idea that these .org employees rely on their work with these orgs as their sole source of income. I agree that conservation by way of litigation, while sometimes necessary, as a steady diet is pretty much BS.
What I struggle with is that WFC in conjunction with some orgs that would like to see the Clearwater become a fly only fishery.
For a long time I have felt that a bait ban in a fishery where wild fish could be encountered is worthwhile. Idaho F&G has been reluctant to do such, as they don't feel they have a problem. With about 50% of the fish that make it over Bonneville destined for Idaho waters, I'm not sure I don't agree with them. Same goes for an early closure to protect spawning fish.
What troubles me is that less than 5% of the steelhead that make over Bonneville go left at the tri-cities for the upper Columbia. This combined with the state of the sound rivers makes me think that WFC needs to tend to their own knitting, and leave Idaho alone.
I can see a future where ultimately the .orgs are able to call for closure of the dworshak hatchery, and with the exception of Nez Perce hatchery ops, make the Clearwater a wild fish system much as the Skagit. Are we really ready to stop fishing the Clearwater, and are we ready to hold Occupy Clearwater rallies for years in the hope that we may get to fish the Clearwater for a week or so?
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#34
It seems like in every thread related to conservation this comes up. Some speculative theory that conversation ".orgs" are making tons of money by suing governmental agencies. Apologies for my directness but for small 501 (c)3's it's largely bullshit.
Thomas,
My comment is not to imply that WFC is making "tons of money" suing WDFW and others. (In the case of the Puget Sound hatcheries deal I believe the 40k went to their attorneys) What I am trying to get across is that the WFC is a business. They enjoy non-profit tax status, but they are a business just the same. Their most publicised tactic is to, by litigation or threat thereof, coerce fisheries management to simply obey the law, i.e. operate with proper permits.

That part is okay with me. In fact I kind of enjoy seeing them hold these agencies nose to the grindstone. If NOAA and NMFS pass more regulations than they can process and enforce in a timely manner then perhaps they need quit making so many rules and/or simply work harder. Considering my recent experience with state and federal fish management be thankful that they are not producing this reply to your post; it would be 18 months in the making, followed by a six month public comment period, three more months of revisions, and announcement of pending publication, and finally, only then, delivered to the forum.

So yes, to be blunt, I think the fuckers need a kick in the ass.

What I don't like about the WFC is they use the threat of litigation to try and shape fish management to their 'ideal' Good on IDFG telling them to go pound sand.

I could go on and on but our power is about to be turned off until 1 pm.
 
#35
Wayne – thanks for your time to respond and clarify. It’s a case where concreteness of language dissolves a perceived disagreement because the increased clarity reveals alignment rather than conflict as I agree with everything you wrote (which is usual).

I reacted to what seemed like a common refrain on WFF when it comes to “.orgs” that they are just in it for a paycheck. That hasn’t been my experience. The majority of folks working in small non-profits with whom I have interacted are passionate people making personal sacrifices (time, money, etc.) trying to make something better. It felt a little like the equally unfair comment “those who can’t do, teach” to which I always have an equally annoyed reaction. Apologies for misreading your posts. I should have asked for clarification rather than assuming I understood your position.

Regarding litigation, I hear you. When I was on the board for NFS, I consistently pushed back on the use of litigation or the org ‘signing on to’ litigation being sponsored by other organizations. My questions were always: why us, why now, what are the positive impacts we seek, what are the negative impacts to those who disagree with us, what are the potential unintended consequences for future work and what's the next best option. There is a time and place for litigation but in my opinion, it is a nuclear option that can’t be walked back and should be treated as such.

Thanks again for posting. Someday I hope to thank you personally for all your efforts on the Skagit.
 

cms829

Active Member
#37
#38
Where abouts? I have family outside of Pulaski and consider the area my second home. I fish the Tribs almost every weekend during the winter, long after mostly everyone has gone home.

I've gotten some dime bright steelhead on the spey rod pretty far upriver even in the middle of the winter...and sure you can get some fresh kings at the DSR or the first few miles. But unless these fish are shooting up fast for some reason, the majority are certainly not table fare. And the majority you see on stringers are fish I wouldn't feed to my dog.

My opinion is that the Great Lakes tribs are decades behind other areas of the world regarding regulation and management. For one - it is just grossly overcrowded during the king season. Its great for the economy, but the river and the environment suffer enormously. At the end of the king season the damn river banks look like garbage dumps at the public access points. And two - There needs to be a tighter limit on keeping steelhead. A catch and release only during the spawning season may have a great impact on the fishery.

And finally - There needs to be some type of limit on guides. It has become downright disgusting how many guides and boats are on that river. And then they bitch and give private boaters a hard time. Its terrible theyve allowed it to get to this point. Any Joe Schmo with a boat is now a "guide" up there.


Rant over. Regarding the Idaho season - while it sucks, it can only be a good thing for the future of the fishery and population.
I am from the Finger Lakes, but lived and worked in Rochester for over 30 years. We fished the tribs west of Rochester mostly. Only a couple of trips up your way and that was probably 20 years ago. It was crowded then, so I'm sure it is worse now. I never got into fishing the king season for most of the reasons you mentioned, but loved chasing the browns right after and steelies all winter.
 
#44
.... provides some low hanging fruit for some groups to impose their will on others. Always remember; Non-profit is their tax status and not their business model.
Every lawsuit is accompanied by the requisite press release and every press release proves the age old adage there is no such thing as bad press. Lawsuits are a very effective fund raising strategy.

As well, in many of these cases, the "Non Profit" is reimbursed by the government agency for their legal costs. The EPA is famous (maybe infamous) for their "sue and settle" collusion with radical environmental groups. The sad part is the public is often excluded from the conversation and resultant "settlement". If you don't believe me, remember Google is your friend.

I'm no anarchist, but maybe Shakespeare was right when he wrote "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers"....