"Americans are going to have to elect people who
value conservation. The question of the day,
is whether sportsmen are going to look up and notice
or just vote the way the NRA says."
~ James T. Martin
I had been invited by the Ravalli County Fish & Wildlife Association
to give a presentation last week. It was exciting for me because they
said I could choose the subject and didnt have a time limit, like 3
minutes for public comments.
There have been a number of things
on my mind from some communication psychology research I have been doing
for over a year. Lists and presentations of how the public is being
marginalized from public participation, points which kept coming up. So I
thought it might be good to distill some of these lists to present the
scary ass overview and some ideas on how we can increase the public's
participation in our public trust, especially here at the FWP state
Very timely, on the 23rd of February, an important news article came up on my feed - 'Counting deer' no longer enough
in the Duluth News Tribune. The statements attributed to James T.
Martin, a biologist, formerly with the Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife for 30 years, were so brutally honest, I had to find out more
about this address, thinking this is tying in with what I wanted to
share. Martin was the keynote speaker for the Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources annual roundtable gathering. I went to their website,
but no video, called them and had to wait a couple days for it be put
up, but well worth the wait. I hope you will take 31 minutes to watch
this. We need a more informed Public.
Martin spoke about 4
storms he sees affecting state fish and game agencies that are going to
collide shortly, radically changing our fish & wildlife management.
He closed with an impassioned statement, "You don't get the natural resources future you dream about. You get the natural resources future you fight for."
Increasing gap between public's expectations for managing the natural
resources and the amount of resources that are available. Less funding
to state fish & wildlife agencies, slow strangulation, with
declining hunting and angling populations, agencies are feeling the
squeeze. People not getting their science from the State agencies, they
will be getting their science from Nature Conservancy & Defenders
of Wildlife. There will be a collapse in 25 years.
Rate of Development. Where do you roll the development to? Ag or the
wilds? Most are not planning because it is too politically contentious.
Water conflicts - fish & wildlife last to the table, getting left
3. Climate Change, rate of change is accelerating. You can look at the models or drive 400 miles south and see your future.
Conservation system that is the envy of the world in jeopardy. Trained
professionals that advised elected officials, who are accountable to
the public, were the norm. Breakdown in that firewall. Elected
officials are shutting up the professional advice, directors are not
trained professionals and no one is willing to call "bullshit". A fight
on our hands to prevent the politicization of our science
dont have the time to put together the normal newsletter, but feel this
is important enough to warrant its own newsletter. Please, take just 31
minutes to see some of this hunter/angler conservation picture.
"You don't get the natural resources future you dream about. You get the natural resources future you fight for."
Fight as if that future depends on you, because it does!