Monday, 20 February 2006 13:21

NDOW: Plans to Raid the General Fund

Written by Bud Sonnentag
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Should the Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Terry Crawforth and Wildlife Commission Chairman Mackenzie get their way, sportsmen are in deep trouble. Together they are incubating a plan to hatch on an unsuspecting Nevada legislature in 2007 that will send shock waves through Nevada which in turn will ripple out to all conservationist hunter sportsmen in our nation.  They plan to make a concerted effort on the Nevada state legislature to raid the general fund for money to run a failing Nevada wildlife agency by using the general public’s tax paying dollars to accomplish it. Please refer to November 18-19, 2005 Commission meeting minutes, especially pages 13 and 14. A large majority of our nation’s wildlife agencies are in financial trouble (American Hunter, Sept. 2005, pg.19) due to their own top-heavy greedy bureaucratic mismanagement brought on by many years of straying away from the original intent of the Pittman-Robertson act of 1937 along with the western states (namely Nevada) unwillingness to admit horrendous wildlife blunders.

Many of our wildlife agencies (especially Nevada) have lost their perspective of how they were instituted and why. P-R, like our sacred U.S. Constitution, was perfectly set up and is now being systematically taken down by greed. In this case, university diploma-wielding biologists who have demonstrated for years they know little about math let alone wildlife management, only how to manage their jobs. May I remind this country that on the inception of the P-R Act, wildlife biologists were all but non-existent whereas today there is no shortage of them. Though today many biologists are well-meaning, vastly too many are parasites feeding off the host—Pittman Robertson Fund and of course, the sportsmen who are responsible for Pittman-Robertson funding.  

Because of these top-heavy agencies with an over-abundance of biologists and game wardens, the P-R can no longer support such a system. In short…the maggots have finally eaten themselves out of house and home. Hence the raid on the states’ general funds to replace their ever dwindling carcass to feed their insatiable appetites and I might add with out the slightest compunction whatsoever towards sportsmen or wildlife. This nation’s glorification of biology (ist) has supplanted common sense – sportsmen – and the holy grail of all conservation—the Pittman- Robertson act of 1937. I will remind Terry Crawforth and all directors nation wide that we sportsmen “are the conservationists” who gave you your jobs through the P-R Act of 1937 in the first place. For you estranged governor-appointed, “Benedict Arnolds” (commissioners) to even think that you will circumvent the conservationist hunter sportsmen of this state and go begging money from 96% of the taxpaying public’s general fund to run your foundering sinking ship…you’re crazy. There are thousands of us sportsmen in Nevada who are going to ring your phone off the hook, Terry Crawforth, if you attempt such an anti-hunter sportsman stunt as this. The reason is plain. We are not going to let you set a precedent in this state (with the silent gleeful blessings of the U.S.F.& W.S.) only to leak out to other states and cause the conservationist hunter sportsmen of this nation to be further disgraced and marginalized by your side-stepping them and using general public money to help you do it. Your ruse is to seek out the 96%neutral citizens and the general fund money under the guise that all wildlife are a natural resource and belong to everybody…Bull! By your actions, you administrators are deliberately neutering the hunter sportsmen and the P-R funds which have paid for every game warden and wildlife biologist’s way in this nation for 65 years.

Let’s hear what Ms. Becky Norton Dunlop of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. has to say about this. Ms. Dunlop’s testimony before my Alaska Congressman Don Young, then chairman of the House Resources Committee on July 20, 1999, was for the sole purpose of exposing federal and state mismanagement of Pittman-Robertson funds. Following a 20 minute enlightening phone conservation with Becky on February 14, 2006, I have to say that it’s obvious today that it has only gotten worse.

From Ms. Norton Dunlop’s testimony before the House Resources Committee, July 20, 1999: “It may be politically incorrect in some circles to say this, but the fact is that sportsmen—and sportswomen—hunters and fishermen—have paid for wildlife conservation in this country. Most state fish and wildlife departments get their budget entirely from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.” (Page.3, paragraph 2)…“I have mentioned all this history to try to show how irresponsible and damaging it is to allow these very special sportsmen-financed programs to be looted to pay for unrelated costs such as wasteful travel or employee’s moving expenses or to cover budget shortfalls for offices that did not bother to live within their means. It is particularly offensive to hear about the contemptible efforts of political appointees to curry favor with politically connected anti-hunting groups by trying to steer them grants from these funds.” (Page 3, paragraph 5)

Ms. Dunlop is aware that these atrocities not only happen on the federal level but state administration levels just as often. So I dare to say…”monkey see, monkey do”. Ms. Dunlop goes on to remind us on page 4, last paragraph, “the second recommendation is to forbid the use of Pittman-Robertson money for species that states do not allow to be harvested”...The last recommendation is to define a “wildlife restoration project” as one that is designed to enhance a species or the habitat of a species that sportsmen are permitted to harvest during legal seasons.”

Sportsmen, how can you enhance your mule deer species with 50 Nevada biologists who, without the knowledge or approval of the Nevada hunters, gave mountain lions protection and have no clue as to how many lions there are at any given time in this state? They all know mule deer are mountain lions’ main food source. In walks the mountain lion, out goes Nevada’s famous mule deer herd and down goes license revenue. Do you get the picture? Hunters Alert has been saying this for years. We need to stay informed, concerned and supportive. We invite you to E-mail your responses to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and get involved because in the not too distant future we’re going to ask you to bury your state representatives and Terry Crawforth’s office with phone calls. We’ll inform you what to say if you don’t already know.

HUNTER’S ALERT is acutely aware that Nevada has two distinct sportsmen groups. NDOW and the Wildlife commissioners are aware of them also. One group is the “Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife” who suck-up to the administration for personal gain and fame. You guys are the other group, the ones who have watched this bull---- unfold for years and refuse to buy a hunting license anymore. You make up the majority of sportsmen in Nevada. To this HUNTER’S ALERT says thank you for your show of non-support to NDOW until some serious changes are made in that department. My next article will address this problem in more detail along with just what you didn’t want to hear… “Higher licenses and tag fees set for 2007.” As if they haven’t bled you enough.

With a proposal to go to the General Fund for money, you have invited the anti’s to take over NDOW (if they haven’t already). With this kind of thinking by the Wildlife Commission, I must ask myself, “How many intelligent people did Governor Kenny Guinn have to pass over to appoint so many dummies to the Commission?” Commissioner Mackenzie, if it is your intent to let the anti’s control NDOW, why not sell out the sportsmen in a hurry? So here is a suggestion for you. You can turn your position over to Don Molde. Clint Bentley can turn his sportsmen position over to anti-hunting Tina Nappe. Clint has been representing sportsmen like this anti-hunting woman anyway. And finally, sportsmen’s representative Tommy Ford could relinquish his position too and be replaced by Mark McGuire. In making these appointments, you could expedite the direction in which you commissioners are heading.

HUNTER’S ALERT leaves you with a new word for the sportsman’s vocabulary. Nevada hunting licenses from now on will be called… “NDOW-ments.” Webster’s dictionary: to provide or equip graciously or to furnish with an income.

Bud Sonnentag

Last modified on Monday, 23 October 2006 05:02
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