Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Appeal to Chairman Rhoads and Claborn

Reprinted from Daily Sparks Tribune

March 12, 2006

RED TAPE: There is an absolute political backlash against the seemingly unending growth of government rules and regulations. This is manifest in Nevada by the people overwhelmingly approving maintaining bi-annual (every other year) legislative sessions, despite our dramatic population expansion. To even further limit “bureaucratic blight”, the people have allowed only 120 day sessions as well.

Published in HA Newsletter 30

Recently this group circulated a petition to the governor to maintain their two Commission members on the Wildlife Commission. These two members were on Larry’s NBU Board prior to being appointed commissioners. No wonder he strongly favors keeping his commissioners in place and is criticizing anyone else who suggests any new members. Talk about a hypocrisy. It is also no wonder that he has made such a dramatic effort to keep his clones in place. They attend his meetings and react to what he says.

This group says that they have donated so much to NDOW that they DESERVE a say in how NDOW is managed and to appoint anyone else would be criminal! WOW!  They are really a few self-centered individuals who only believe in themselves and only listen to themselves. They think that they are the only ones who should have a say on wildlife issues in the state and consistently brag about how many dollars they have given to the state and that “entitles” Larry and his group to control wildlife in the state. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Published in HA Newsletter 33

Larry shoots best shot and misses

 

Larry Johnson did everything possible to keep “his boys” on the Wildlife Commission. It didn’t work. Governor Gibbons wanted people on the Wildlife Commission who want to bring back those once famous Nevada mule deer herds. “Larry’s boys” were more concerned about the 150 people hunting sheep than the 51,011 who used to hunt deer.  Larry went so far as to send the following notice to all the county advisory game boards and sportsmen’s groups.

 

Published in HA Newsletter 33

Reprinted from: Opinion column, The Nevada Rancher, June, 2008, Winnemucca, Nevada

 

The question is:

“Should Governor Jim Gibbons reappoint the current Wildlife Commissioners, who were selected by fomer Goveror Guinn, or should he appoint his own people?”

My answer is:

Governor Gibbons can appoint anyone he wishes to the Game Commission. This is his call, and his alone. Who should he appoint? Whomever he finds to be the best candidate for the job. If he needs help finding names, I am sure he will ask for it.

Our governor does not need to take into account everything everyone in the world tells him before selecting his appointees. That is not the way it works here in America. Our governor is a highly intelligent, experienced and competent man who knows the issues and knows how to get things done. We have lost our Mule Deer herd under the current Game Commission and NDOW leadership. It is time for change if we are ever going to bring back our Mule Deer and Governor Jim Gibbons is the man who can make this happen. What we should do to assist our Governor in making his decision on appointees is to support his appointments and not second-guess him.

Sincerely,

Mike Laughlin

(Retired) Professional Wildlife Biologist, Bachelor of Science, Wildlife Management Degree, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Longtime Nevada resident, rancher and sportsman

Published in HA Newsletter 33
Thursday, 27 March 2008 00:00

Gibbons Should Choose As He Sees Fit

Reprinted from The Sparks Tribune

Some sportsmen’s groups are attacking Gov. Jim Gibbons, claiming “unease” for him being a “conservative western Republican” while serving in the U.S. Congress.

 

Not surprisingly, some of these same, who, by the way, DO NOT poll their membership before making such outlandish comments, were big fans of liberals such as Kenny Guinn and Harry Reid.

 

I know that for a fact, since I am a lifetime member of one of the most prominent critics, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU). Much to my embarrassment, one so-called spokesman for NBU, Larry Johnson, even went so far as to claim “Harry Reid saved hunting in Nevada,” a statement Reid quite wisely used in a campaign mailer targeted to fishing and hunting license holders throughout the state.

 

Reid saved hunting? What a joke. Without belaboring the point, a handful of anti-Gibbons types are being quoted as supposedly representing the views of certain organizations but in fact are simply expressing their own distorted views.

 

So  the current attack, well documented in a large article by Associated Press writer Sandra Chereb in last Sunday’s Sparks Tribune, is an attempt to keep Gibbons from properly exercising his prerogative and replace members of the Nevada State Wildlife Commission with his own choices. They want Gibbons’ enemy and former Gov. Kenny Guinn’s appointed commissioners reappointed.

 

Apparently, they believe Gibbons is too stupid to make wise choices. Not surprisingly, both of those they want reappointed are former board members of NBU. I am not sying the two commissioners in question are not good men; in fact, I respect both of them and have high regard especially for Jim Jeffress, whose opinions I deeply value. I am saying that Gibbons is fully capable of selecting others equally qualified without needing to pander to the elitist NBU mentality.

 

Another group criticizing Gibbons and supposedly representing sportsmen is the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife. As a founding member of this coalition, I know a great deal about its makeup.

 

Originally, many sportsmen’s groups started with this coalition, formed at a meeting in Winnemucca in 1993. I was at that original meeting and was an active participant on the board for about three years thereafter. However, since NBU was and remains today the primary source of its funds, it gradually eroded away from representing many divergent views to instead being simply a front for NBU. In fact, when we held the original elections for officers, that point was made very clear, and NBU board member Larry Johnson was selected as president. Now, about 14 years later, surprise, surprise – that same Larry Johnson remains president. The idea of a “coalition” is a joke. Divergent views are, in fact, not welcomed.

 

The current complaints about Gibbons really boil down to an elitist view of how wildlife in Nevada should be managed. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has the management responsibility, and frankly, has been for years spending disproportionate time and efforts on programs catering to groups like NBU at the cost of the rank-and-file sportsman.

 

For example, Nevada has less than 200 bighorn sheep tags available yearly so only a tiny share of Nevada sportsmen has a chance at getting such a tag. By comparison, up to 30,000 to 50,000 deer tags are available in a good year. Despite these huge differences, NDOW focuses a grossly disproportionate amount of time, dollars and effort on the bighorn sheep, and the influence of groups like NBU is one of the reasons why.

 

Gibbons was elected with the support of smaller sportsmen’s groups on the promise to bring balance back to the wildlife equation. For the good of all sportsmen, not a handful of the rich and powerful, he should honor his campaign pledges and restructure the commission as he sees fit.

 

Ira Hansen is a lifelong resident of Sparks, owner of Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing and his radio talk show can be heard Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. on 99.1 FM.
Published in HA Newsletter 33

In the 2001 Legislative session, HUNTER’S ALERT, working with Nevada Hunters Association and Assemblyman Jerry Claborn were successful in passing Assembly Bill 291. This bill enacted a $3.00 predator fee for every big game tag that hunters applied for. It should be noted that no other so-called sportsmen’s organization helped in the passage of this bill which was desperately needed to restore our deer.

 

This bill provides over $300,000 a year for predator control. The original intent of the bill was to do predator control to bring back our deer. However, former governor Kenny Guinn’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission, Tommy Ford, John Moran, Clint Bentley, Jack Robb and Jim Jeffress decided to do more sheep projects than deer projects. The reason for this is that the Wildlife Commission was stacked with sheep club members. It shows that they could care less about people who want to hunt deer.

 

To them, it was more important for 150 people to hunt sheep than the 35,000 hunters who want to hunt deer. I guess nobody in the sheep club hunts deer. Nothing like being a selfish bunch! NDOW has refused to do any predator control on its own. So with the money provided by sportsmen, they farm it out to Wildlife Services.

Published in HA Newsletter 33
Monday, 24 April 2006 05:59

Jim Gibbons Endorsement

Jim Gibbons for Governor 

Dear Fellow Nevada Sportsmen:

I was born and raised in Nevada, and I am proud to be a life-long hunter. It has been an honor and privilege for me to represent Nevada’s citizens over the years as a state legislator and congressman. I hope to also be fortunate enough to win this year’s election, so I can serve as our next Governor.

We have many challenges in our state, and one of those is to protect our right to enjoy outdoor activities, including hunting. That requires each of us to work together to maintain our wildlife habitat and access to Nevada’s outdoors. As our next Governor, I will make sure we have a Department of Wildlife (NDOW) that works to increase our deer population so that we can allow for access to a greater number of allotted tags. An overwhelming percentage of NDOW’s funding comes from us, the law-abiding hunters of Nevada who pay our fees. Under my leadership, you can trust that NDOW will be responsive to the sportsmen who fund it.

From one hunter to the next, you have my pledge that I will be a hands-on Governor and will appoint the most qualified individuals possible to each position in state government. We will do everything in our power to work with fellow sportsmen and sporting groups and associations to preserve our rights and abilities to hunt. But, I can only work with you to accomplish common goals if I have your support.

I am pleased to have earned the Hunter’s Alert endorsement. Please help me further today by volunteering, providing a financial contribution, providing sign locations, writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper, or calling your local talk radio stations. I will be a true sportsmen’s Governor, but I need your help to get there. Please contact my campaign and join us today!

Sincerely,

Jim Gibbons

Jim Gibbons

Published in HA Newsletter 30
Sunday, 15 October 2006 05:01

Time for Larry to go!

In the April-June, 2006 NBU (Nevada Bighorns Unlimited) newsletter, Larry Johnson wrote an article entitled "NDOW-An Agency in Crisis".   HUNTER’S ALERT and Nevada Hunters Association have stated this for seventeen years. If it takes a person seventeen years to figure this out, that person is not very smart about wildlife issues. That is why it is time for Larry to go. Below are excerpts from Larry’s article and HUNTER’S ALERT’S response.

Published in HA Newsletter 31
Sunday, 15 October 2006 04:49

Vote for Judge Nancy Saitta

Normally, HUNTER’S ALERT does not get involved with the selection of Supreme Court justices. However, this one is very different. Judge Nancy Saitta is running against Nancy Becker who is seeking reelection, and who defied the wishes of Nevada voters while trashing the constitution of our state at the same time.

Published in HA Newsletter 31
Sunday, 31 October 1999 17:00

SENATE BILL 211

Below are the major changes and why sportsmen need this bill passed.

Published in HA Newsletter 18
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