*Editor’s Note* – The below article appears in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin #56, April-July 2014. It is republished on this website with permission from the editor of The Outdoorsman. Please help to support the continued publication of this valuable magazine by buying a subscription and/or making a donation. You can do this by clicking the link on the right side of this page, printing out an application and mailing to George Dovel. Thank you.
The few who are able to accept the truth when they read it, know that The Outdoorsman has kept them aware of the 1980 change in state Fish and Game priority from providing continued supplies of wildlife for hunting fishing and trapping, to making non-consumptive wildlife viewing (bird watching, etc.) its number one priority. We have also photocopied and repeatedly published and referred to Jim Unsworth’s 1991-1995 Elk Plan, which boldly stated it was a plan to manage the impacts of people upon wildlife and
wildlife habitat. It also encouraged and promoted non-consumptive use of elk and claimed a single use like harvest was not necessarily a good thing.
The Outdoorsman has presented undeniable proof that officials in IDFG and several hundred from other states’ F&G agencies were trained by FWS and The Nature Conservancy in their West Virginia Training Center to sell our governors on putting Fish and Game biologists in charge of all development on public and private lands. This included implementing the system of wilderness core areas and connecting wildlife corridors.
These biologists were taught, “Instead of being the decision maker on trivial decisions like deer seasons, our primary responsibility must be to be the trusted source to the people, media and political decision-makers on incredibly important decisions like land use, water quality, biodiversity and global climate change.”
We reported how IDFG Director Virgil Moore recently conducted a seminar in the East to teach others how to use the Public Trust Doctrine to replace hunters with non-hunters. We also reported Moore’s working with the MAT (the “Management Assistance Team with offices in the FWS/TNC Training Center in W. Va.) at IDFG Headquarters in Boise to accomplish the transition from managing wildlife to their new “business” of regulating activities on public and private land.
In the latter part of July an eight page document surfaced that was dated May 21, 2014 and titled “Idaho Fish and Game In-Service Training School, Confluence Café Summary.” It said that 500 IDFG employees had participated in its preparation and showed color photos of several large groups participating in the “Confluence Café.”
It contained multiple suggestions to de-emphasize the role of hunters and fishermen and increase the programs available for those who don’t buy licenses. It suggested Nature Walks and Auction Wildlife Viewing trips but admitted that wildlife viewers were not willing to pay for the programs.
There was strong approval for dropping “Fish” and “Game” from the name of the Department and adding something about habitat. There were also numerous suggestions to utilize public funding for the programs they said they wanted to provide, including the lottery and sales tax.
I was privy to the angry reaction from several license buyers, one angry legislator and read several pieces of written testimony. Administrative Chief Barton lied to Sen. Cameron about having surplus money to hire the first nongame biologists, Rita Dixon lied to the Commission about having sufficient donations to pay matching funds for their program, and now they have replaced game biologists so sportsmen can pay some of their cost.