Friday, 16 February 2007 11:33

Wildlife commissioners still don’t get it!

Written by Hunters Alert
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To paraphrase the old cliché, you can lead a jackass to water, but you can’t make him drink is clearly appropriate for most of the Wildlife commissioners. When the commissioners don’t know what to do, which is on a regular basis, they form a committee. One of the 12 committees is the Legislative Committee.

The Committee’s main purpose is to figure out how to extract more money from sportsmen. The money is needed because of years of NDOW mismanagement and the Wildlife Commissioners’ failure to monitor the mismanagement. Here are some excerpts from the January 23, 2007 Legislative Committee meeting:

Bill Bradley asked what is the number one priority for the agency’s one-shot appropriations. The one-shot is asking the legislators for a large sum of money for a particular item. Acting Director Buonamici said the number one priority is wildlife diversity. Can you believe this? Wildlife diversity is for tweety birds, frogs and lizards. These "priority" items produce no revenue. The correct answer should have been "funding to bring back our deer so the agency can recoup the millions of dollars lost from deer revenues. Of course, none of the Wildlife commissioners would dare stand up and say such a thing.

Chairman MacKenzie stated that there were a few mistakes made in the audit. A few!!! Millions of dollars were lost, not a few. The loss of these dollars was directly attributable to then director Terry Crawforth’s mismanagement and the Wildlife commissioners’ failure to do their job by not reviewing the budget. Stating "a few mistakes" is a way to downplay their horrendous lack of oversight.

We’ve saved the best for last. Chairman MacKenzie said he received elaboration from Assemblyman Claborn on his one bill on limitations on hunter harvest during a lifetime and relates to having elk and some other species be once in a lifetime hunt.

Commissioner Bentley asked why are we taking the time to get sportsmen’s input on this if they are going to take it out of our hands. After almost 5 years on the Wildlife Commission, Clint Bentley still doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on. Let’s explain it to him, it won’t do any good but we will try anyway. On numerous occasions, sportsmen have requested that some predator control be done. You opposed it. Sportsmen asked you to check on NDOW’s budget. You didn’t. For this and many other reasons, it is a waste of time to attend a Wildlife Commission meeting. You and some of the other commissioners have let your appointment go to your head. Consequently, your head has swollen so nothing else can penetrate it.

Chairman MacKenzie’s response to Bentley was that is a question we often have, and people get frustrated with the Commission level and can bypass the Commission and go straight to the Legislature and (he) understands the frustration. At last, Chairman MacKenzie realizes that there is frustration. Too bad that you didn’t realize it 5 years ago. You could have been a good commissioner who took sportsmen’s interests to heart unlike Clint Bentley who still doesn’t get it.

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