KDFWR issues. Not sure where to put this so here it is.

Discussion in 'Community Forum' started by Drahts, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Drahts

    Drahts 10 pointer

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    If this is the wrong place, admin please move to correct loc.

    to
    Kentucky Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers



    "In an effort to bring light to issues going on across Kentucky that impact all sportsmen and women and increase the engagement process between the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, we wanted to reach out to you to bring to your attention several issues we have been following.

    Earlier this year, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission took the unprecedented step of selecting a sitting commissioner to become the next head of KDFWR. The facts showed that this individual interviewed all the original applicants for the position, then only after all the applicants were turned down, submitted his own application. The Department did not re-advertise for the position and simply accepted only his application. His selection came right after the KDFWR failed their audit and Kentucky State Auditor called for a “change in culture” at the agency.

    During the Government Contract Review Committee in the Kentucky Legislature, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Stephen Meredith, said, “…it wasn’t reassuring when they (KDFWR Leadership) began their answer by saying, “We know this looks bad, but…” Another member of the Committee, Senator Paul Hornback, went on record saying, “The task of trying to clean up Fish and Wildlife is going to be 10 times greater because they’ve lost credibility up front.”

    Following this, the President of the Kentuckiana Chapter of Safari Club International (KY-SCI), Larry Richards, charged stated, “It’s time we live up to our motto and be First for Hunters in Kentucky.”

    KY-SCI has formed a new Legislative Affairs Committee and gave that committee the mission to, “Bring the corruption at the KDFWR and the Fish and Wildlife Commission out into the sterilizing light of day.”

    We believe many of the issues are the result of years of systemic failures at the executive level of the KDFWR. Moreover, the failures are also directly attributable to the overreach of the Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet in their continued campaign to gain control of the KDFWR and its assets.

    The Kentuckiana Chapter has been working hard on the following issues:

    Prioritizing Elk Tourism Over Sportsmen and Women

    The Wildlife Management Area (WMA) where the first elk were hunted in Kentucky over 21 years ago, the Paul VanBooven Wildlife Management Area, was closed off to elk hunting in favor of elk viewing. Also, the Department recently trapped and moved wild elk to private property owned by a private entity. According to KRS 150.023, we believe the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife must have the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s approval to execute such an action. However, a very senior member of that Commission claims to have had nothing to do with it. Furthermore, the private entity that received the wild elk has direct ties to KDFWR in an apparent conflict of interest to the agency’s mission to “conserve and enhance fish and wildlife resources and provide opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife related activities.”

    Special Commission Permits

    Kentucky law KRS 150.177 allows the Fish and Wildlife Commission to award up to ten special commission permits for a bull elk, a whitetail buck, a tom turkey and waterfowl to, “an incorporated nonprofit wildlife conservation organization .”These organizations may “sell and transfer the permit if all proceeds of the sale are used in Kentucky for wildlife management.” Recent open records requests have revealed many years of apparent violations of the statute by allowing certain organizations that are not dedicated “wildlife conservation organizations” to obtain permits at the exclusion of other worthy organizations. Further, these same organizations appear to routinely fail to use the proceeds for, “wildlife management” as required by statute.

    House Bill 278

    Representative Tommy Turner, chair of the House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee, sponsored HB278. That legislation sought to redefine Wildlife Management Areas, owned by KDFWR to, "Tourism Attraction Projects." The bill stated, all lands, “Owned by the Commonwealth, or leased by the Commonwealth from the federal government,” would become “Tourism Attraction Projects”. This would have allowed the Tourism Cabinet to use lands bought and managed using sportsmen and women dollars for the purposes of tourism, instead of wildlife management. Ultimately this legislation failed to advance during this legislative session but we believe it will be reintroduced in 2020.

    To stay informed and make your voice heard about issues going on across Kentucky and to help reduce the influence of politicians and to restore the preeminence of sportsmen and women in Kentucky, visit the Kentuckiana Chapter of Safari Club International’s Legislative Affairs Website."
     
  2. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

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    I’d still like to see an exact break down of the details and the funds used to purchase the wma’s. Not a chance they came solely from hunting licenses and citations.
     
  3. Thanks for posting this.
     
  4. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

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    Of course not Ed, some of our WMAs were generously donated by proactive, fore-thinking sportsmen and women.
     
    KYBOY and drakeshooter like this.
  5. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

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    I believe this is what Jim Strader was talking about on his show last night. But I only got to hear snippets of it. If anyone is interested, his shows can be downloaded as a podcast.
     
  6. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

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    No thanks. Not a fan.
     
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  7. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

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    I don't always agree with him on a lot of things and I don't go out of my way to listen to his show, but I do find that every once in a while, a blind squirrel will find a nut.
     
  8. Iceman35

    Iceman35 12 pointer

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    Might be wrong, but can’t Robertson-Pittman funds be used for WMA purchases?
     
  9. Iceman35

    Iceman35 12 pointer

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    Sure, if you talk long enough, you’ll eventually say something remotely true.

    Surprised he stopped being hypocritical about crossbows long enough to even comment on it.
     
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  10. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

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    Yes, Pittman-Roberts funds can be used for land purchases. I think Ed was doing a bit of fishing with that question.
     
  11. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

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    I’m just saying that I highly doubt hunters provided all the funds necessary to purchase all the public lands. I’d wager there are many tax exemptions from the state granted to donors/sellers of the property. I’d say federal dollars also helped greatly. Hunters aren’t the only ones contributing to Pittman-Roberts right? The idea of laying claim to a particular public land by one group just kinda rubs me the wrong way.
     
  12. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

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    Anyone that purchases hunting-related items contributes to Pittman-Roberts. But give credit where credit is due - KY sportsmen (hunters, anglers, shooters) largely foot the bill for many projects.

    I’d urge anyone interested to listen to the other three men in the room with Strader and then decide for themself. I’d also suggest folks read up on the Lacey Act and how that would relate to transferring wildlife held in public trust to a private entity.

    We are talking about transferring 241 of the public’s wildlife to a private entity that will essentially turn around and charge a fee to the public to view that wildlife. Again, reference the Lacey Act. Hell, don’t pay attention to Strader just make your own mind up if this passes the smell test.
     
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  13. EdLongshanks

    EdLongshanks 12 pointer

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    I had to pay to rabbit hunt Peabody. Why is that so much different than someone else paying to see an elk on nonprofit land?

    I know lots of people who burn through ammo and have never Spent a minute hunting. I also know plenty of hunters who have never stepped foot on public land. I know a whole host of fishermen who don’t hunt. I think the actual hunters who use public land benefit greatly from the excise taxes paid by others. I’m fine with that, but don’t get bent out of shape when everything under the sun doesn’t quite go the way you like it.
     
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  14. Iceman35

    Iceman35 12 pointer

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    Is Peabody wholly owned by KYDFW? Honestly don't know. If it isn't, then I would think a user fee is part of the lease agreement with the landowner to maintain it. IMO, that's a lot different that public money being spent to reintroduce an animal onto private land that is not accessible to the public at all. If they then turn around and make this a WMA, that's a little different, but doesn't appear that's what's going on. Even then, it's likely a Lacey Act violation of essentially putting the cart before the horse.

    As to the rest, yes, there are many hunters, shooters, fisherman, etc that pay the excise tax that provide opportunities to the rest of us. The difference being those opportunities are available to them as well, they just do not use them. The big issue is when groups like horseman want to use, free of charge, WMA land, and they have not, in any way, payed for that land via their riding activities.
     

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