Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What about non-game animals?

We traveled the 250 miles up to Bonner's Ferry to take in Idaho Fish and Game Commission's public comment hearing July 11, and heard Chairman Randy Budge say in his opening remarks that their commitment is "to the hunters and fishermen." Directly after that one of the managers said essentially the same thing. I wondered because at least 10 or 12 commenters who were there were anything but.

The literature passed out by the department there indicates otherwise. "Only one in five Idahoans hunt." "Eighty percent of Idaho's wildlife is not hunted or fished." "All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish is the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated and managed." I say "Great. Idaho's wildlife belongs to us."

However, that 80 percent that is not hunted or fished has to depend on l percent of Idaho Fish & Game's budget. That may not sound wise nor fair but it is the way the world works: You have to pay to play, and money talks. I heard it loud and clear during that public hearing.

So now I'm saying to myself: All the wild pleasure I get out of the public lands has always been free up to now. I better start paying now. Like the non-game license plate and then find other ways to show my appreciation by paying in some way.

Then, I'm gonna start asking Idaho Fish & Game: How come all the literature they hand out lists elk, sheep, bears and smaller creatures for protection, preservation and so on but not wolves. How come?


Weippe, Idaho

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