By:  Pat Laughlin

I attended the Wildlife Damage Management Committee meeting and the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting in Reno this past weekend and would like to share with the sportsmen and citizens of Elko County the insanity that continues to take place at the expense of wildlife and our way of life in Nevada.

The Wildlife Damage Management Committee was chaired by Mike McBeath, an attorney from Las Vegas.  This was the first Wildlife Damage Management Committee meeting Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has had for almost two years under McBeath's chairmanship  This committee leads the way as to how sportsmen's 3-dollar predator fee on big game tags is spent.  Mr. McBeath began the meeting by going into a 15-minute dissertation about how he was against any predator control.  In his "expert" opinion, predator control for the protection of wildlife doesn't work, costs too much, is too controversial, and he also saw a TV program that was against predator control. Now, I am sure Mr. McBeath is an educated man and I'm sure he can spell predator, but I am also sure this would be the extent of his knowledge on the subject...TV show aside, of course.

Next, the committee at the suggestion of Mike McBeath spent almost an hour discussing the subject of changing the committee's name.  After considerable discussion, the name remained unchanged.  Finally the fourth revised predator management plan from NDOW was presented and lengthy discussion took place including opposition of parts of the plan by several parties including current legislators, Assemblymen John Ellison and Ira Hansen and past Assemblyman John Carpenter.

Chairman McBeath did not give a report to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners on the Wildlife Damage Management Committee proceedings and their decisions to approve the three sage grouse projects and no decisions on the other projects. Instead he went into his same rhetoric as in the committee on how predator control will not help wildlife populations. All the projects then had to be explained to the Commission but the legislators and other interested parties were not in attendance thinking they had fulfilled their objective of stopping the study by Pat Jackson.  Why do we even have a committee meeting and take up the time of legislators and other interested parties and then ignore everything that took place?  This game was rigged from the start.

The full Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners, who, I might add, is stacked with Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU) members and controlled by NBU, approved an ongoing study of coyote ecology in the Monitor, Toiyabe, and Toquima ranges in central Nevada by Pat Jackson, a graduate student from Utah State University (USU) to the tune of $100,000 a year for five more years.  In the previous three years of this ongoing study, this out-of-state student has successfully caught and radio-collared FIVE coyotes.  Two have been shot.  Three remain active.  This is at a cost of $193,463 for the past three years or $38,692.60 per coyote.  Now NDOW is planning on using a helicopter and net gun to collar coyotes for the researcher to help him reach his goal of 30-40 coyotes which would be a representative study group. Think of the costs.  I for one do not think this is what the sportsmen's 3$ predator fee money was meant for.

Another item on the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners agenda was to award the prestigious Wayne Kirch award.  This is a Wildlife Commission pick and once again it was presented to another NBU member.  If you look at past winners of this award, the list is like the who's who of NBU.  NBU official Larry Johnson even recommended it for himself two years in a row a few years ago.

But it gets better...Shawn Espinosa is a former game warden, who was promoted from law enforcement to sage grouse expert for NDOW and is the main biologist that stopped the China Mountain Wind Project and closed over a million acres of gas and oil exploration leases.  Working hand in hand with the BLM, he supported numerous cuts in AUMs on grazing allotments throughout Nevada on the assumption that grazing could hurt a bird that isn't even listed on the endangered species list yet.  One particular grazing allotment south of Eureka on the Snowball Ranch was cut in half without evidence of a single sage grouse being present.  NDOW's defense of this action is that the area is good sage grouse habitat and someday sage grouse might move into the area.  Well, Mr. Espinoza was awarded the NDOW agency's Employee of the Year Award.

In closing, it is important to point out the US Forest Service and BLM have long been thought of as major threats to our way of life in Elko County but, in our eyes, NDOW, our own state agency, working behind the scenes with USFS and BLM is a bigger threat to the sage grouse than fires or the raven, not to mention the war on mining and ranching. NDOW and the current commission are the enemies!! It was simply unbelievable what I witnessed during these two days of meeting!!

Thank you for your time.

Pat Laughlin

President N4W

Published in Syndicated Articles
Monday, 01 October 2007 04:52

NDOW continues to sell out mule deer

There are three groups who could bring back our deer, the Wildlife Commissioners, the majority of our legislators, or Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). None of them choose to do this. Let’s examine these groups and prove why they don’t care about Nevada’s once famous mule deer.

 

First, the Wildlife Commission. None of them have ever proposed any idea to even think about bringing back our deer. Quite the contrary. Wildlife Commissioner Clint Bentley, on two different occasions, has prevented more lions from being killed. This alone proves he doesn’t care about our deer. This guy has the title of “sportsmen’s representative”. However, he should be representing anti-hunters. He still has one year left on his appointment to continue selling out Nevada hunters.

 

Published in HA Newsletter 32
Monday, 01 October 2007 04:39

Editorial 2007 Summer

There are good things in store for the future of Nevada sportsmen. NDOW has a new director, Ken Mayer who is concerned about the loss of our deer and the way the agency has been managed in the past. HUNTER’S ALERT bill AB259 did not pass in its original form but it came out a winner anyway. HUNTER’S ALERT sponsored a bill to audit NDOW in the previous legislative session. The results of the audit proved how badly NDOW was being mismanaged. Because this audit showed numerous misappropriations of sportsmen’s dollars, AB 259 was passed. It mandates NDOW to be audited every other year. 
Published in HA Newsletter 32

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