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NFC: for Robert Rice


This is my original message that I was referring to.  I would very much
appreciate you taking the time to read this, and directly address the points
I have made here.  Thank you.

Pastor Chris

----- Original Message -----
From: "Christian J Hedemark" <chris at yonderway_com>
To: <nfc at actwin_com>
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 9:23 PM
Subject: NFC: Answering R.J.'s questions and asking some more of my own

> R.J. Rogers said:
> > Maybe you can help me. I've searched NFC's website but can find nothing
> > conservation programs other than exotics removal which is happening only
> in
> > Florida on a very limited scale by a handful of people.
> Interesting thing, the ERP.  No doubt, it is a useful program, but sadly a
> futile one (the exotics are, after all, entrenched).  Best I can figure,
> has potential to be self sufficient or even profitable through sale of
> captured exotics, though I know of no accessible figures that the members
> can get at to see which direction the money is flowing with regards to the
> Florida ERP.  I personally would be interested in having any officer of
> NFC post a financial report to the members to see where the money is going
> (and how much is coming in, at that).
> > I've been lurking
> > this list for awhile and almost all you ever talk about is aquariums and
> > catching fish to put in them, and selling fish and aquarium supplies in
> > auctions.
> The NFC is still a very young organization.  Right now, with limited
> resources available and even more limited volunteers, I don't think a lot
> people are willing to step forward and take leadership positions.  Many
> people, including myself, have offered in the past to get more active
> locally but not in a leadership capacity.  Between my career, my ministry,
> and my growing family I don't want the responsibility right now of leading
> local activist group.  BUT I would be willing to work for & with such a
> group if it existed.  I get the vibe that this may be the case for a large
> portion of our members.
> Also, I think a large portion of our members are simply aquarists and have
> no interest in doing more than collecting & keeping natives.  It's not a
> knock against them, but an observation that our organization includes
> with many different interests.
> > Rice himself said that members were abusing the NFC just to get
> > fish which goes to show where there true interests lie. There is no talk
> of
> > habitat restoration, captive breeding of endangered species, reducing
> > pollution, dam removal, etc.
> Well there is a breeders club but for all I can tell it never got off the
> ground.  I bought a bunch of fish in an auction early this year and
> that box to the breeders program.  I never heard back from them if the
> even shipped (but my check was cashed!) which left a bad taste in my
> They may be doing something, I don't know, but if they are it is a secret!
> I don't think the NFC will ever be unified on the political front.  This
> list has errupted into debate in the past over such issues and our members
> have many different ideas on the right approach to environmental issues.
> the NFC took up the mantle of trying to lobby legislators, I think the
> membership would drop off sharply.
> > The Adopt-a-Tank program is nice but isn't that
> > just a program for Marineland to get more kids hooked on the aquarium
> hobby?
> No.  The AAT program predates Marineland's involvement with the NFC.
> to Marineland, membership $$$ were going towards equipping tanks.
> However, this has also been a disappointment.  For all of the $$ that has
> gone out (how much, I don't know) we have seen almost nothing in return.
> articles, web pages, etc.  There were some web pages up before but I think
> several went down or fell out of maintenance.  I don't know how many kits
> Marineland has kicked in, but still the flow of $$$ seems to be an empty
> hole from which we harvest nothing.
> See a pattern?  Money, supplies, livestock, and effort flows like a river
> here, with nothing coming back to tell us what happened.  You and I as
> members send in our annual dues.  We get newsletters a few times a year
> are put out by a couple of people who could probably use a lot more help
> build more content.  We get to see money thrown back into the NFC from all
> of these auctions, associate programs on the web site, and other sources.
> We hear of or see evidence of money flowing from the membership coffers
> other projects, like AAT and maybe to a lesser extent the breeders
> But what ever comes back upstream?
> What I would like to ask for here is accountability.
> If a member sends $$ to the NFC in the form of membership dues, the
> should have the courtesy of quarterly financial reports to show what's
> coming in and where it is going out.  If the NFC sends those membership $$
> to the Breeders Program, the Breeders Program should kick back reports to
> the membership of what is being done with this R&D money.   AAT
> should send in semi-annual reports on their efforts.  I think any teacher
> involved in AAT should require their students to each write an article
> a subject directly linked to what they learned through AAT, and those
> articles should be submitted to the NFC.  It's all about accountability.
> Give the membership warm fuzzies that all this $$$ going into things is
> having a positive impact.
> Going to the Breeders Program page (not picking on anyone, but just using
> example) I observe a few things:
> * Participants are supposed to write up life histories and submit them to
> the articles database.  I see a lot of Robert Rice articles, and a few
> others, but not anywhere near what I would expect to see from a BP that is
> getting free $$, free fish, and possibly free fish gear.
> * The BP is supposed to somehow be involved with auctions.  I haven't been
> watching too closely so I may have missed a couple here and there, but I
> think the fishes we're seeing in the auctions are all wild caught, no?  Or
> at least the vast majority of them are.  Where are the BP spawned fish?
> Also, what happens when people like me donate boxes of fish to the BP?
> Where did they go?  Who got them?  Have they had any success?  I don't
> know if the guy I bought them from shipped to anyone (emails enquiring
> this went unanswered).  In any case, the BP is either recieving $$ from
> auctions or free fish.  What is being done with this?
> * I see a banner ad on this page for "Jonah's".  How much $$$ has the NFC
> gotten from this relationship, and where did it go?
> > NANFA may be a hobbyist group but looking at info on the NANFA page I
> > that they are spending money on research and conservation type programs.
> To be fair, they are much larger and older.  Though I do have to wonder
> the NFC can't do more.
> But back when I was checking out both clubs, some of the officers of NANFA
> were being pretty juvenile about one of NFC's officers over some old feud
> between them, and trying to slam the NFC to keep me from joining.  I went
> the NFC chat room and asked some questions about NANFA and the response I
> got was much more mature and professional.  There is clearly some bad
> between the officers, but one group seems to handle it with maturity while
> the other was not.
> > Why do you need the NFC (or even NANFA, for that matter) to clean up a
> creek
> > or teach kids about fish?
> You don't.
> BUT, if we had our act together as a club, we could do these things more
> effectively by pooling resources.  How?  Well if the NFC had videos,
> powerpoint presentations, etc. that would give us an edge on teaching kids
> about fish or getting up in front of any group.  If we had $$$ available
> help local efforts, a dumpster could be rented to deposit all of the trash
> removed from a stretch of river (I surely won't be putting those old tires
> in the back of my Mustang to take them to the dump!)   The pooled $$
> if used properly, give us an edge that individuals couldn't hope to have
> their own without considerable out-of-pocket expenditure.  My contention
> though, that the NFC is not currently allocating funds effectively.  Or,
> they are, it is not being adequately communicated back to you & I as
> members.
> > Arent there local watershed groups you can join
> > that are much better prepared to be active and effective on a local
> Not that have any sort of focus on non game native fishes.  These guys
> have no bones about stocking trout, for example, in a river where they
> naturally occur.  Or they are more concerned with focusing on pollution or
> encroachment on riparian zones.  There is an overlapping area of interest,
> certainly, but I'm not ready to spend my weekends trying to save native
> birds (which is something a more generalize local group might be engaged
> in).  Not that I think we don't need those birds, but they aren't a
> interest of mine.
> > Sorry to be sounding so negative here because I like the NFC's mission
> > goals but I'm just failing to see how they are backing it up with actual
> > programs that are getting results. If I'm missing something please tell
> > or show me. Thanks.
> Randy, I feel your frustration.  In the past I have put ideas out for ways
> to make use of this $$ coming in to either fix problems or increase our
> visibility and thus our membership.  They were booed down.  Maybe they
> bad ideas.  But I didn't see any better ones come out.  Or worse ones
> Nothing.  Dead air.  But I sent in my membership anyway.  I subscribed to
> the Breeders Program e-zine and have yet to hear anything.  Our officers
> relatively silent.  I'd personally like the officers to take a moment to
> post some figures for us on where money is coming in, how much, and where
> is going.
> I know that also we were trying to hire a grant writer some time ago, and
> there was a bit of fanfare about this, but to my knowledge that position
> never filled and I don't know if the NFC pursued it any further.
> I know this has come up before, but does anyone here remember electing any
> of the officers.  I *think* I've been a member for three years now and
> haven't yet participated in an election.  I know they are spaced out
> according to our articles of incorporation.  I'd like to recommend that
> these terms be shortened to lengths of 1 year, as many other clubs do.
> gives the sitting officers an incentive to make their mark on the club,
> gives opportunities for "fresh blood" to take a different approach once a
> year.
> Also, I would like to propose that our club incorporate ACCOUNTABILITY at
> all areas where resources flow in or out of the general membership
> even if the flow is within the club itself.  Notice I say "resources" and
> not "money".  I am intentionally wording it that way to include equipment,
> fish, etc.
> Pastor Chris